Arrests made in case of child that was found dead last year

Jordan Piper, 36, and Lindsey Piper, 38, of Calavares County, California.

On January 11, 2020, 11-year-old Roman Lopez was reported missing from the home he and his family had recently moved into in Placerville, California.


At the time of his reported disappearance, Roman lived with his father, Jordan Piper, his step-mother, Lindsey Piper, and seven other children ranging in ages between 1 and 17-years of age.


An initial search of the home did not turn up anything, but a second, "more extensive search" resulted in the body of Roman being located inside of a storage container in the basement of the home.


An autopsy revealed no obvious signs of trauma, but revealed that he was not only dehydrated but also "severely malnourished" at the time of his death.


Yesterday morning Chief Joseph Wren of the Placerville Police Department held a press conference with Mayor Dennis Thomas and El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson to announce that 36-year-old Jordan Piper and 38-year-old Lindsey Piper had been arrested earlier in the morning and charged for the death of Roman.


Jordan has been charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death and torture.  He was also charged with failure to provide for a child. His bond was set at $1,050,000.


Lindsey was charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death, torture, and poisoning. Her bond was set at $1,300,000.


They were both taken into custody without incident from an unincorporated area of Calavaras County where they were straying in a motel at the time.


The seven children that were in their care at the time of Roman's death are no longer in their care.  Since then, one turned eighteen, three were returned to their biological families, and the remaining three were placed back into protective custody with Child Protective Services.


During the press conference, both Wren and Pierson were careful not to reveal too much information stating that the investigation remained active and ongoing, but asserted that "we have evidence that proves each of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt."


At this time it is not known when they will next appear in court.