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Lauren Smith-Fields (left) was found dead in her apartment Dec. 12. Her death remains under investigation. Photo Credit: US Sun. 
Lauren Smith-Fields (left) was found dead in her apartment Dec. 12. Her death remains under investigation. Photo Credit: US Sun. 

Young Bridgeport woman is found dead in her apartment after Bumble date

Lauren Smith-Fields was a 23-year-old college student and YouTuber who was found unresponsive in her apartment on Dec. 12.

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The loved ones of Lauren Smith-Fields, a Bridgeport, Connecticut native and young Black woman, are searching for answers after the 23-year-old’s passing. 

She was found unresponsive in her apartment after her Bumble date, with whom her family described as an “older, white man,” who reported her death to police. He was not detained and his name has not yet been released by police. 

When police were asked by Smith-Field’s brother why the man wasn’t questioned, he was told it was because they thought he was a nice man and it wasn’t necessary. 

While conclusions from the medical examiner’s autopsy haven’t come back yet, the family has paid for a second autopsy to be done due to how they feel the case has been dealt with thus far. 

Smith-Fields’s father said that the family has only been in contact with a detective that he described as “very insensitive, condensing, and arrogant.” 

This case has not been widely covered by mainstream news outlets, but has gained traction on social media sites, like TikTok. Some on social media are comparing the coverage of Smith-Fields (a black woman) to that of Gabby Petito (a white woman). 

On CNN alone, there are 68 articles and videos just covering Petito’s case, with 28 more that reference the case. The first of these articles was posted on Sept. 15, four days after Petito’s mother reported her missing. Seventeen days after Smith-Fields’ death, there are none. 

Ironically some of the additional 28 stories from CNN are about the disparity in coverage for non-white victims vs. white victims. In the instance of missing persons, this disparity has a name, “missing white woman syndrome.”

Missing white woman syndrome is a phrase coined by the late journalist and news anchor Gwen Ifill to describe the difference between how the media covers cases involving middle to upper class white women vs. how they cover cases involving people of color, and lower class women, and men.  

The investigation into Smith-Field’s death is still ongoing.

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