PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — The father and stepmother of 11-year-old Roman Lopez, who was found dead in Placerville last year, are now facing murder charges, prosecutors said on Friday.
According to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, a complaint was filed Thursday against Jordan and Lindsay Piper for charges of murder, child abuse, torturing and poisoning.
Both were arrested in Calaveras County back in February on child abuse and torture charges—with Lindsay also being charged with poisoning—and made their first court appearance that same month.
Roman was living with the Pipers along with seven other children when his body was found in a bin in the basement of the family’s home in January 2020.
Because an autopsy of Roman found “no obvious trauma,” murder charges were slow in developing. Officials did tell us Roman, a boy his mom described as goofy and kind, was severely malnourished and dehydrated when he was found.
All seven other children who were under the care of the Pipers were living with a new family in Michigan.
Neither the Placerville Police Department nor the district attorney’s office would reveal what new information led to the murder charge, but police investigators did call it “great news.”
“It’s great news. Justice for Roman is what we have been aiming for this entire investigation. So long as we get justice for that little guy we will be happy,” said Dan Maciel, commander with the Placerville Police Department.
Roman’s mother, Shelly Lopez, fought back tears as she previously told us about her fight to regain custody of her little boy. That didn’t happen quickly enough to save his life, and sadly, Shelly would carry her pain to her grave as she died in April of this year, 15 months after Roman was found dead.
“I told Roman I would do everything I can to be with him again,” Shelly previously told CBS13.
In this tragic story of unimaginable loss, the Pipers will be arraigned for Roman’s murder on November 19.
We did track down Jordan Piper’s mother on the phone to ask for a statement. She hung up without commenting.