‘Tortured’ boy, 11, found dead in bin after ‘stepmum poisoned his water’
THE body of Roman Lopez was found in a container in his family’s basement, after being reported missing on January 11, 2020, the Placerville Police Department said.
His body was reportedly found around 15 hours later.
At the time, Placerville police Sgt John Meuser said the child’s death was being investigated as “suspicious” and did not comment further.
A post-mortem found Roman was “severely malnourished and dehydrated” at the time of his death, though there was “no obvious trauma”.
His stepmum Lindsey Piper, 38, and father Jordan Piper, 36, were arrested and charged with child abuse and torture, according to a statement from the police department.
Lindsay Piper is accused of poisoning Roman’s drinking water, states an arrest warrant, while Jordan Piper was additionally charged with failure to provide for a child.
At the time Roman was reported missing, he lived in the home with his biological father and stepmother, along with seven additional children aged from one to 17-years-old.
The family had moved to Placerville just two months earlier.
After an initial search for Roman was unsuccessful, a second, more extensive search of the home was launched, and Placerville Police Investigators found the young boy’s body in the basement.
“Much of this case involved the analysis of forensic evidence, to include obtaining search warrants to seize electronic devices, review data, and working with medical professionals as well as experts in the field of child abuse.
“Adding to the complexity of this case was how often this family moved and the various agencies they had encountered,” said the police department.
“The Placerville Police Department and the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office would like to thank Roman’s loved ones, who never lost confidence in our ability as an investigative team to leave no question unanswered.
“Our hearts will forever be with them all.”
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