Matthew LaFountain, the 37-year-old Bumble date of 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields, who died during the date in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is cooperating with the criminal investigation into Smith-Fields’ death, according to his attorney.
News 12 reported that attorney Peter Karayiannis responded in a statement to the call for LaFountain to be regarded as a suspect in Smith-Fields’ death.
“I think it’s the media that’s made him the main focus of this investigation, although Bridgeport police did investigate the matter, he did fully cooperate and he’s not the main focus of the investigation anymore,” Karayiannis said. “As we know, the DEA is involved now, and they will help local authorities investigate the matter and get to the bottom of what happened to Lauren.”
Already, Karayiannis is being annoying.
The media isn’t the reason there have been calls for La Fountain to be properly investigated. The fact that Bridgeport police allegedly told the victims’ family members they wouldn’t question LaFountain because he’s “a really nice guy” is the reason. The fact that it’s common for the last person to see someone alive to be treated or at least questioned as a suspect is the reason.
Finally, LaFountain not being questioned isn’t the main issue, it’s only a symptom of the larger problem: The Bridgeport police haven’t been taking the case seriously and haven’t been treating the family with the kind of care and support one would expect to be shown to a family in mourning.
But whatever, carry on, Karayiannis.
From News 12:
Karayiannis says LaFountain had nothing to do with Smith-Fields’ death. Karayiannis also says while his client has been widely portrayed on social media as being a married man in his 50s, he is 37 years old and single.
“We will continue to cooperate with authorities to help definitively determine what happened to Lauren on that evening, and we want her family to find some peace after this heartbreaking loss,” said Karayiannis.
The attorney representing the Fields family, Darnell Crosland said he “Rejects this approach,” in response to Karayiannis’ statement.
“We find it shocking the attorney has never reached out to my office,” Crosland said. “If he’s truly concerned about what happened to Lauren, he will make his client available to my investigative team.”
Crosland also told the Independent that LaFountain’s story “doesn’t add up” and that he’s been “acting evasive” ever since he discovered Smith-Fields’ dead body.
“He said in the police report that he slept with his clothes on and that they didn’t have sex,” he said. “Take a look in the bathroom and you see a condom still had semen on it, it wasn’t dried up…it doesn’t add up.”
Crosland said LaFountain should have been treated as a person of interest from jump street, but because he wasn’t, Bridgeport police didn’t gather evidence including the used condom and alcohol bottles that they drank from in the immediate aftermath of Smith-Fields’ death being reported, and now it’s too late for investigators to use that evidence to prove or disprove LaFountain’s version of events.
“We’ve said from the beginning that this case should have been treated as a criminal investigation,” Crosland told the Independent. “All experts agree that you start by taking a criminal standpoint and then you dial it back if you don’t find anything criminal. You want to quarantine the area and do a crime scene investigation. You take a statement from the last person to see them alive and treat that person as a person of interest.”
As for LaFountain allegedly being “evasive,” Crosland had plenty to say in that as well.
“We know that after she died he changed his name on social media and has been acting evasive so we’re not comforted by his wishing of condolences and his blanket statement of being willing to help,” he said. “The family feels that if this gentleman was the last person with their daughter before she died he should have already called my office or had his lawyer call my office and express that he really wants to help us figure out what happened here. Also he should voluntarily give a DNA swab so we can compare it to the condom and other items of value in the house such as the alcohol bottles.”
Crosland also had smoke for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which determined that Smith-Fields died of “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine, and alcohol,” and ruled her death an accident.
Crosland said that Smith-Field did not use drugs and he questioned how the medical examiner could rule her death an accident without determining how the drugs got into her system.
“It tells people to close the case and turn their backs on a Black girl like she doesn’t exist,” he said. “Experts are calling this a cocktail of drugs and saying that no one in their right mind would say give me a shot of fentanyl with promethazine and hydroxyzine and then wash it down with alcohol. That would be worse than drinking gallons of Clorox.”
Crosland went on to point out how different this case would have been handled if LaFountain were Black.
And I think we all know he’s right about that.