Two police detectives in Bridgeport, Connecticut, have been placed on administrative leave over the handling of two recent deaths of women who were found deceased on the same day.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Lauren Smith-Fields, a student and Tik-Tok infuencer, was found dead on December 12 at her Bridgeport home after meeting for a date with a man she met on Bumble. The man reportedly called police to say he woke up to find Smith-Fields, 23, unresponsive and with a nosebleed.
As NBC News reports, a medical examiner determined that Smith-Fields’ death was accidental, a result of acute intoxication due to a combination of fentanyl, hydroxyzine, promethazine and alcohol.
Though the autopsy did not determine the Smith-Fields was a homicide victim, authorities have opened a criminal investigation into her death — but the direction of the investigation is unclear. A laywer for the man Smith-Fields met on Bumble told NBC News that her date is not being treated as a person of interest in the investigation.
Smith-Fields’ family has accused the Bridgeport Police Department of “racial insensitivity,” and claimed they learned of Lauren’s death from her landlord — not police.
Also on December 12, Bridget Rawls, 53, was found deceased in a Bridgeport residence. The circumstances of Rawls’ death are not yet known, but NBC News reports that her family also says they were not properly notified by police. Rawls’ cause and manner of death are pending the results of a medical examination. It is not known if her family or investigators suspect foul play.
As NBC News reports, Mayor Joseph Ganim announced on Sunday that two detectives have been placed on leave as a direct result of both death investigations.
In a statement obtained by the news outlet, Ganim reportedly said he was “extremely disappointed with the leadership of the Bridgeport Police Department and find actions taken up to this point unacceptable.”
The officers were identified by Rawls’ family member and an attorney for the family of Smith Fields as Detective Kevin Cronin and Detective Angel Llanos. In his statement, the mayor said the detectives are the focus of an internal affairs investigtion. Both are expected to face disciplinary action “for lack of sensitivity to the public and failure to follow police policy in the handling of these two matters,” Ganim reportedly said.
“The Bridgeport Police Department has high standards for officer sensitivity especially in matters involving the death of a family member,” Ganim continued. “It is an unacceptable failure if policies were not followed.”
CrimeOnline will provide further updatese when more information is available.
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