Matthew LaFountain is the Connecticut man who was the Bumble date of Lauren Smith-Fields, the 23-year-old woman whose family has raised questions about her death, accusing authorities of not thoroughly investigating it.
Smith-Fields was found dead in her Bridgeport, Connecticut, apartment on December 12. Since that time, questions have swirled about how she died.
Heavy has reached out to Bridgeport, Connecticut, police for additional details. LaFountain denies wrongdoing and has not been arrested, charged, nor publicly accused in the death.
“This family is not paranoid,” Smith-Fields’ family attorney Darnell Crosland told CNN. “The reason it feels that way is because as of late, Gabby Petito was missing and the type of manhunt that was out for her killer was insurmountably different than we see here.” According to Rolling Stone, the family is planning to sue the city.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. LaFountain’s Attorney Says He Is ‘Not the Main Focus of the Investigation Anymore’
According to News 12 Connecticut, Attorney Peter Karayiannis is acting as a spokesman for Matthew LaFountain. The television station reported that LaFountain “is not a suspect” in Smith-Fields’ death.
“I think it’s the media that’s made him the main focus of this investigation, although Bridgeport police did investigate the matter, he did fully cooperate and he’s not the main focus of the investigation anymore. As we know, the DEA is involved now, and they will help local authorities investigate the matter and get to the bottom of what happened to Lauren,” said Karayiannis to the television station.
Karayiannis described LaFountain as single and age 37.
“We will continue to cooperate with authorities to help definitively determine what happened to Lauren on that evening, and we want her family to find some peace after this heartbreaking loss,” said Karayiannis to News 12 Connecticut. Heavy has reached out to Karayiannis for further comment.
“My client has been cooperating with the authorities since Day 1,” Karayiannis told DailyMail.com.
2. Police Are Investigating the Death as a Crime But the Medical Examiner Ruled it ‘Accidental’
According to CNN, Smith-Fields’ death is “now being investigated as a crime,” per Bridgeport police.
CNN reported that the department’s “narcotics and vice division has opened an investigation and will be assisted by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.”
That came after the medical examiner ruled Smith-Fields’ death “accidental” and caused by “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol,” reported CNN. The network caused it an “overdose.”
On December 12, 2021, the Bridgeport Emergency Operations Center received a call for service regarding an untimely death. Upon police arrival, it was found that Ms. Laruen-Smith-Fields passed away unexpectedly. This incident is currently being investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department’s Detective Bureau. This investigation remains open and active. The Detective Bureau is awaiting the final report from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office for cause and manner of death of Ms. Smith-Fields. The Bridgeport Police Department offers it’s sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Lauren Smith-Fields. We encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to contact either Detective-Sergeant Joseph Morales at 203-581-5219 or the Bridgeport Police TIPS line at 203-576-8477.
A GoFundMe page to help Smith-Fields’ family says:
On December 12th 2021 our family lost a loving Daughter, Sister, Niece, Cousin, and Friend Lauren Smith-Fields. As many of you may know the circumstances surrounding Lauren’s death have proven to be suspicious and we her family need your help to bring the answers we are looking for to light!
In the beginning of this nightmare our family was extremely mistreated by The Bridgeport Police Department who as we stated initially declined to investigate Lauren’s untimely death. Although BPD has now decided to begin to conduct an investigation, our family would like to conduct one of our own! We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of love shown to our family from all over the world during this time and ask that you continue to show that love by assisting us in hiring a private investigator. We are hoping an investigator of our own can shed light on this tragic event and give us the answers we need to move forward and heal as a family. We realize this road and fight will not be easy but we are willing to do whatever it takes to get Justice for Lauren!
3. LaFountain Told Police He Woke Up to Find Smith-Fields ‘Not Breathing,’ Reports Say
According to News 8, an incident report says that “a man Smith-Fields met on a dating app,” told police that he woke up to find Smith-Fields with “blood was coming out of her right nostril” next to him and “she was not breathing.”
The officer said the man, identified by other sites as LaFountain, was “frantic” and was “trembling and visibly shaken.”
He told police he only knew Smith-Fields for three days, she got sick while they were out drinking the previous night, and she went in the bathroom for up to 15 minutes and then fell asleep, the station reported.
According to News 8, Smith-Fields’ lawyer says that the state crime lab did not receive “a pill used as a sedative, a condom, and ‘a round blood stain in the middle of [Smith-Fields’] bed,'” as evidence.
Rolling Stone reported that the incident report indicated that Smith-Fields “had asked LaFountain for $40.00 dollars for her nails and to meet her at her Bridgeport residence, where they took ‘shots of tequila.'”
He said she went to vomit in the bathroom and then they drank more tequila with mixers, Rolling Stone reported. “They allegedly played games, ate food, and began to watch a movie when Smith-Fields received a text,” Rolling Stone reported, adding that it was her brother, and she went outside to get something from him before returning to go into the bathroom. “He thought it was odd, but didn’t feel it was his place to say anything as he didn’t know her that well,” the officer wrote of LaFountain, according to Rolling Stone.
The magazine reported that the family says Smith-Fields already had her nails done and quoted her brother as saying, “I didn’t know that anybody was in there. She came out and she was out there for like 10-15 minutes and she walked back into the house. She looked normal. She didn’t look sick, she didn’t look tired, she didn’t look drunk. I’m her second older brother, if I would have seen her drunk I would’ve said ‘What are you doing?’ … ‘Why do you look like that?’”
Rolling Stone quoted the brother as accusing police of not detaining LaFountain because he seemed like a “nice guy.”
4. An Attorney for Smith-Fields’ Family Called the Investigation ‘Botched’
An attorney for Smith-Fields’ family, Darnell Crosland, has pushed back at the medical examiner’s findings.
“The M.E. findings doesn’t cure any of Bridgeport Police Department lack of process, in fact it makes it worse. As a result of a botched investigation this morning we are left with more questions than answers,” Crosland tweeted.
He also tweeted: “I’ve never seen a medical examiner conclude a mixer of drugs as an accident without knowing who provided the drugs, or how it was ingested. Lauren didn’t use drugs.”
He tweeted, “Yesterday the 24th of December we celebrated Lauren’s 24th birthday and we are in pain this morning. @ActingChief Rebeca Garcia please stop lying to the public and show some compassion and respect to this family. You have yet to sit with us. You are truly an actor.”
Crosland has tweeted at singer Cardi B for her posts pushing further investigation in the case, writing, “@iamcardib thanks to your voice we are moving towards justice, they just announced today that a criminal investigation will be launched. Can I say like Cardi, ‘AAAAAA’ or ‘Know what I’m saying.’ TMZ called me tonight and I told them you’re so appreciated.”
5. LaFountain Is a Design Engineer
Daily Mail reported that LaFountain is a design engineer. “LaFountain works as a design engineer at Connecticut-based company, the site reported.
He previously worked as a senior mechanical designer for a company that deals with heaters. His Facebook and LinkedIn pages are deleted.
He is from Milford, Connecticut, according to online records.
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