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Case against parents of Roman Lopez continued to August

The father and stepmother of Roman Lopez, 11, are facing child abuse, poisoning and torture charges after Lopez was found dead in their basement in 2020.

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The case against the parents of Roman Lopez was continued on Monday, July 12.

Jordan and Lindsey Piper, the father and stepmother or Roman Lopez, appeared in court for charges of child abuse, torture and the poisoning of 11-year-old Roman. Both have plead 'not guilty' for his death.

The case was continued due to the fact that Jordan Piper got a new attorney that needed to get up to speed on the case.

Roman was reported missing from his Placerville home on Jan. 11, 2020, where his family had just moved. He was found dead a short time later. The Pipers were arrested on February 5, 2021 after police were able to find evidence to charge them.

Roman's family on his mother's side released a statement thanking the Placerville Police Department and other law enforcement for helping them get closure on the day of the arrests.

"The announcement of the arrests of Jordan and Lindsey Piper has brought feelings of immeasurable relief to Roman's family," the statement read. "However, they still carry the sadness of losing Roman, now in measured depths."

Police initially investigated the case as a suspicious death. In the initial search of the family's home, police did not find anything, but in a second search of the home, investigators "located Roman deceased inside a storage bin in the basement," according to a press release.

And even though police kept their lips tightly sealed on this case, City Councilman Michael Saragosa said this was never on the back burner.  

"I just want everyone to know that there wasn't a day that went by last year that our chief and our officers weren't working on this case," he said in a press conference on the day of the arrests. "Literally every single day they were working on this case to get to this point today."

When asked why police took so long to notify the public about why they kept where Roman was found confidential, Placerville Police Chief Joseph Wren said, "There were certain aspects of where he was located and the manner in which he was located that we didn't want to put out to the public at the time. We wanted to keep it within the investigative team."

An autopsy of Roman found "no obvious trauma," but found he was severely malnourished and dehydrated at the time of the death. According to the press release, the case involved a lot of analysis of forensic evidence. Investigators contacted multiple agencies across other states about the family, including child protective services, medical providers and other law enforcement agencies, to determine what could have happened to Roman.

Jordan and Lindsey Piper will be back in court on Monday, Aug. 16.

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