The Bridgeport Police Department in Connecticut has launched a criminal probe into the death of a Black woman who died last month after fentanyl and other drugs were found in her system. The woman, a university student, was found unresponsive after a Bumble date at her apartment.

The Bridgeport PD announced Tuesday that the criminal investigation into 23-year-old Lauren Smith-Fields’ death, which was initiated after the highly-potent drug fentanyl was found in her system, will be conducted by the Narcotics and Vice Division and assisted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Rolling Stone reported.

Chief of police Rebeca Garcia said the Bridgeport PD is “now refocusing our attention and efforts to the factors that lead to her untimely death.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on Monday ruled Smith-Fields’ death as an accident caused by “acute intoxication due to the combined effects of fentanyl, promethazine, hydroxyzine, and alcohol.” However, Smith-Fields’ family said they found an unidentified pill and a used condom with semen at her apartment.

After a Bumble date at her apartment on Dec. 12., her date, Matthew Lafountain, reported to police that Smith-Fields was unresponsive and had been bleeding from the nose. Smith-Fields’ family members have accused law enforcement of racial insensitivity and a lack of proper handling in the case, the Hartford Courant reported. The family said police did not notify them of Smith-Fields’ death and they found out about it after the woman’s landlord left a note by the door.

Furthermore, the family claimed that police told them Lafountain was not a suspect in Smith-Fields’ death and they were not informed why. The family said a detective asked them to stop calling.

The deceased woman’s family members are seeking an internal affairs investigation into the handling of her death. Darnell Crosland, the family’s attorney, has notified the city that he intends to file a lawsuit related to the family’s accusations against police for “failing to perform a proper investigation.”

Crosland also told CNN through a text message that the medical examiner’s report “doesn’t cure any of the Bridgeport’s lack of process, in (fact) it makes it worse.” The attorney added that there are now more questions than answers “as a result of a botched investigation or lack thereof.”

Shantell Fields, Smith-Fields’ mother, told News 12 Connecticut that her daughter was a college student and had people who loved her. “No one is going to discard Lauren Smith-Fields, my daughter, like she’s rubbish,” she said. Bridgeport PD said the initial police investigation into the case is being reviewed.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that US authorities blame for more than 100 deaths a day in the United States
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that US authorities blame for more than 100 deaths a day in the United States AFP / Don Emmert