Placerville Parents Of Deceased Child Arrested On Allegations Of Child Abuse
This week authorities arrested the parents of 11-year-old Roman Lopez for child abuse. Lopez was found dead at his Placerville home more than a year ago. Police charged the boy’s parents with multiple shocking criminal counts of child abuse, poisoning, and torture. Family members originally reported Lopez missing. Upon discovering the child deceased, Placerville Police say they thought the death suspicious, according to Police statements. At the time, they did not, however, reveal any additional details of the death investigation.
More than a year after Lopez’s tragic death, his father Jordan Piper, 36, and stepmother Lindsay Piper, 38 were taken into custody in Calaveras County. Placerville Police Chief Joe Wren said the couple faces charges of child abuse, poisoning, and torture. Chief Wren revealed for the first time that they found Lopez’s body in a storage bin in the basement of the family’s home, with evidence of severe dehydration and malnourishment at the time of his death.
Authorities arrested Jordan and Lindsay Piper early Thursday in Calaveras County, then booked them into the El Dorado County Jail. Bail for Jordan Piper is $1.05 Million per count. Bail for Lindsay Piper is 1.3 Million per count. Although each face child abuse, poisoning, and torture charges, neither face murder charges, according to authorities. Both defendants face felony charges of child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death. In addition, each faces charges of causing cruel and extreme pain for revenge, extortion, or sadistic purposes.
Jordan Piper faces additional counts of willfully failing to provide food, clothing, shelter and medical attention to the child.
Lindsay Piper faces separate counts involving poison. “This is a horrific crime that shocked the community, the death of a child affects us all,” Chief Wren said. He also said collecting information on the child’s family had been challenging.
In December 2019, the parents along with eight children moved from Michigan to a home on Coloma Street in Placerville. The children ranged from 1 to 17 years old in age. The family lived in their Placerville home for a little over two months.
Roman Lopez’s birth mother Rochelle Lopez learned of her son’s death online. She said she lost custody of the boy to his birth father after she returned from her military service in Iraq with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to pain killers. Another woman named Kira Sutkay, however, claimed custody of the other three young children. Sutkay said she placed her children in the care of Lindsay Piper, who moved without her knowing.
Authorities returned the other children to their birth mother, according to Chief Wren. El Dorado County’s child protection agency assumed custody of three of Lindsay Piper’s teenagers. “The hearts and soul of our community were broken a little over a year ago,” said Mayor Dennis Thomas. “We mourn the loss of a tender soul at such a young age. Our community has been impatiently waiting for this day.”