TikTokers have come together to shame the media and public for the lack of reporting around the mysterious death of 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields.
On Tuesday, Smith-Fields’ family announced their plans to file a lawsuit against the City of Bridgeport for the mishandling of an investigation into her death, NBC Connecticut reports. Smith-Fields was found dead in her apartment on Dec. 12, following a night with an older white man she met on the dating app Bumble.
Smith-Fields’ mother, Shantel Fields, claims that when she reached out to the police about investigating Matthew LaFountain, the man her daughter met up with, she was shocked by their response.
LaFountain, 37, works as a design engineer at Connecticut-based Times Microwave System. The company is responsible for manufacturing cables for military, aerospace, and telecommunications companies, as noted by the Daily Mail. Police have still not named LaFountain a suspect in Smith-Fields’ death despite him being the last person to see her alive and making the 911 call about her death.
“When I asked the officer about the guy, he said he was a very nice guy and they weren’t looking into him anymore,” Lauren’s brother Lakeem Jetter told NBC Connecticut.
“It was almost like he was sticking up for him and it seemed weird to hear that from a detective.”
After more attempts and allegedly getting hung up on, the family was left upset and frustrated by the lack of response from the local police. It prompted them to hire attorney Darnell Crosland to get justice for Lauren.
“We have seen the amount of resources that have gone to other cases involving missing white women like Gabby Petito and we know so many Black woman are missing so much in this country,” Crosland said.
“Everyone is speaking out; everyone is insulted with the way the Bridgeport Police and the Bridgeport city has dealt with us.”
The family has paid for an independent autopsy into Smith-Fields’ death and is awaiting the results. On Sunday, the family plans to officially announce their intention to sue the city over the mishandled investigation.
News of Smith-Fields’ death has spread to social media with TikTokers using the hashtag #justiceforlaurensmithfields, garnering over 4.2 million views, Insider reports.
Popular TikTokers like true crime and travel TikToker Haley Toumaian made a video that received over 1 million views. In her post, Toumaian said Lauren’s name deserves to be “everywhere.”
@robandhaley Reply to @c3l3st3g29 Lauren Smith-Fields. Share her name. Share her picture. #laurensmithfields #justiceforlaurensmithfields #justiceforlauren #fyp ♬ original sound – Haley Toumaian
In late December, TikToker Fiona Meehan said the lack of coverage around Lauren’s death was “enraging,” considering the national headlines the Gabby Petito case received.
Now the topic of “Missing White Women Syndrome” has reignited as many demand a thorough investigation into Lauren Smith-Fields’ death.