Dating can be fun and exciting, but many of us forget that it can also be dangerous.
The recent death of Lauren Smith-Fields serves as a cruel reminder that not everyone has your best interest at heart in life or in death.
Smith-Fields, a 23-year-old woman from Connecticut, went out with Matthew LaFountain, a man she met through the dating app, Bumble. She was later found dead in her apartment after LaFountain called 911 leaving behind many questions of how it all happened.
Smith-Fields was said to have died from “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine and alcohol,” according to CNN. This raised red flags as it was stated by the family’s attorney, Darnell Crosland, that “Lauren didn’t use drugs,” according to NPR.
LaFountain hasn’t been charged with the connection to Smith-Fields’ death creating even more confusion.
Many still feel that there was foul play involved in her death. Her family has gone beyond the results of the medical examiner and are currently waiting for the results of the independent autopsy that they’re having conducted.
Many aren’t pleased with the lack of media and police attention that this tragedy has received, feeling it’s racially insensitive. This situation is being compared to Gabby Patito, a white woman who was reported missing and later found deceased due to “blunt-force injuries to the head and neck, with manual strangulation.” Petito’s case received far more media and police attention leaving many to assume that it’s due to race.
According to katiecouric.com, “Smith-Fields’s family says The Bridgeport Police Department was disrespectful toward them, and that they learned about Lauren’s death from a note her landlord left on her door. They’ve also claimed that police mishandled potentially key evidence, like bloody sheets, a used condom, and a pill. After failing to get more answers, they’re now planning to sue the department over what their attorney described as its ‘racially insensitive’ handling of the case.”
Far too many of our girls are disappearing and being found dead with no justice being served. This situation hits extremely close to home for me as a Black woman surrounded by lots of other Black women and girls. Situations like these show just how important it is to tell someone where you’re going, who you’re going with, and even give someone your location through a phone.
When Going On A Date:
*Ensure the people you’re meeting online are actually who they say they are
*Meeting in public places
*let someone know your whereabouts
Though every situation like this can’t be completely avoided, they’re less likely to happen if someone knows where you are and who you’re with. Meeting new people is already dangerous as you’re not aware of their intentions or motives. Keep yourself safe by ensuring the people you’re meeting online are actually who they say they are, meeting in public places, and let someone know your whereabouts.
By Cierra Lemott, Sophomore, Columbia College Chicago
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak