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California couple arrested for the death of 11-year-old son

Published: Feb. 4, 2021 at 5:54 PM PST
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PLACERVILLE, Calif. (KOLO) - More than a year has passed since the discovery of the body of a young boy in the basement of his Placerville home. Thursday Placerville police announced the arrest of the father and stepmother of 11-year-old Roman Lopez in neighboring Calaveras County.

The couple, 36-year-old Jordan Piper and 38-year-old Lindsay Piper, have been charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily harm and torture. He faces an additional charge of failing to provide for a child. She’s also been charged with poisoning.

Thursday’s press conference produced few new details, but it is known the couple reported the boy’s disappearance last January. His severely malnourished and dehydrated body was found the same day in a storage bin in the family’s home.

His death staggered the community who waited impatiently for answers.

”The heart and soul of our community was broken a little over a year ago when we learned of Roman’s death,” said Placerville Mayor Dennis Thomas. “We mourn the loss of a young soul at such a tender age. Our community has been waiting impatiently for today.”

Police Chief Joseph Wren said the investigation involved a long, complicated search through the family’s series of relocations through a number of communities in and out of California. They had only been in Placerville for two months before the boy’s death.

It was, he said, difficult on his officers as well. “Every one of our investigators who worked on this case have small children, some the same age as Roman. This has been a difficult case for anybody who has played a part in investigating what has occurred.”

There were seven other children, aged one through 17, in the home at the time. One has since reached adulthood, three others have been returned to other biological family members. The remainder are apparently in the custody of Child Protective Services.

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Jordan Piper, 36, and Lindsey Piper, 38, the father and stepmother of Roman respectively, face...
Jordan Piper, 36, and Lindsey Piper, 38, the father and stepmother of Roman respectively, face multiple criminal charges including Child Abuse, Poisoning, and Torture.(El Dorado County District Attorney)