2/4/21 Update – Lopez’s father, Jordan Piper, 36, and stepmother, Lindsey Piper, 38, were taken into custody in Calaveras County in connection with Roman’s death. They both face charges of child abuse and torture.


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PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — It’s been more than five weeks since 11-year-old Roman Lopez was found dead in Placerville. Police call his death suspicious, but won’t release details on what happened to him.

Meanwhile, the community is waiting for answers. Placerville police have now confirmed the FBI involved in this investigation.

“The investigation is lasting a long time,” said Commander Kim Nida.

For the first time in five weeks, police acknowledged the lengthy investigation into Lopez’s death. The investigation is taking a toll on this community, and the Placerville Police Department.

“It just adds to how much it involves all of our emotions in the police department,” Nida said.

READ: Placerville Community Begs For Answers In Roman Lopez’s Suspicious Death Investigation

She points to toxicology and pathology reports for Roman as a key reason why the community still knows nothing. Police are waiting for a report back.

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“I would like the results right away, unfortunately, it’s not the only death that occurred, and we only have one lab that we use in this area,” said Nida.

Nida says Roman’s blood was drawn and analyzed by the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office. She says their lab is busy and it says it takes four to six weeks or longer, to get that report back.

She calls it the “missing puzzle piece” in this investigation, adding it’s something that needs to happen before the public can be informed.

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“We will tell the entire story when we can,” she said.

Lopez, the boy with “bright eyes,” originally went missing back in January. His body was then found the next day, police only calling his death “suspicious.”

“In any case where someone has died and they haven’t seen a doctor in a certain amount of days, we need to analyze the death and that’s why it’s considered a suspicious death,” said Nida.

Nida couldn’t go into specifics about what that “suspicious death” ruling means when it comes to Roman’s case.

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But death is suspicious if it is unexpected and its circumstances or cause are medically or legally unexplained.