Is A Netflix And Chill Date Supposed To Be A Death Sentence?

On December 11, 2021, Lauren Smith-Fields invited a man she met on Bumble, 37-year-old white design engineer Matthew LaFountain, over for a Netflix and chill date. That isn’t supposed to be a death sentence. The two drank tequila and watched a movie before falling asleep. There were also bloody sheets and a semen-filled condom found at the scene. In the morning LaFountain says he found an unresponsive Smith-Fields with a bloody nose and called 911.

Lauren Smith-Fields’ family believes she was drugged and died at the hands of LaFountain. The medical examiner says Lauren died due to a fatal combination of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol. Shrouded in accusations of police neglect and cover-up, we’ll probably never know what happened to the 23-year-old.

Lauren was a student at Norwalk Community College and an eyebrow specialist in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Police have shared their opinion that there is no foul play involved but haven’t shared what evidence they’ve found to rule it out. Lauren’s family say this is because her death was inadequately investigated. Police have asked Lauren’s family to stop calling the police station.

After police identified Lauren it took them over 24 hours to tell her family she was dead. They found out from her landlord. Oddly, the police response is that they don’t “need” to reach out to family, a detective told Lauren’s brother, Tavar Gray-Smith, “We didn’t need to reach out to any family member—we had her passport and her ID, so we knew who she was, and had already performed an autopsy, and her body is at the medical examiner’s office.”

Also, a few weird things are going on with police and this Bumble date:

  • He keeps being referred to as a “much older” man instead of by his age. No one who hears the expression “much older” would guess that we are talking about a 37-year-old man but we are. He is 37. So why are we obscuring his age? Probably because it makes it seem like Lauren was hanging out with a 70 year old guy, which seems shady and people will victim-blame her and forget about her death and stop asking questions of the police.
  • Police told Lauren’s family the Bumble date was “a nice guy”.
  • Police told Lauren’s family “there is no need to investigate him”.

It’s also important (and sad) to know the disparity in the energy we (me, police, true crime fans, etc) had to hunt down Brian Laundrie vs how long it took for this case to capture public attention. Lauren passed on December 11. I’ve just started hearing about her case on my feeds.

Lauren’s family’s lawyer, Darnell Crosland, said, “It looks more like a murder, and if the police don’t start acting fast, we’re going to have a real big problem on our hands.” The family plans to file a lawsuit against the city.