It has been a year since an 11-year-old boy was found deceased in Northern California and there has finally been a major break to the case. The father and stepmother have been arrested in his death for allegedly torturing and poisoning the child, police officials announced Thursday.
Jordan Piper, 36, and Lindsay Piper, 38, were taken into custody Wednesday and are facing charges of child abuse, poisoning and torture charges in the death of their son Roman Anthony Lopez, Placerville Police Chief Joseph Wren released in a statement.
“Although an autopsy revealed no obvious signs of trauma, Roman was found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated at the time of his death,” according to Wren.
Additional charges are being sought against the stepmother if willfully failing to provide food and water to the child and also charged with a separate count of poisoning.
Wren did say he was not at liberty to discuss any more details on the severity of the abuse Roman endured because the is still a very active case and the investigation is ongoing.
“I can tell you we have evidence that proves each of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt that they were arrested for,’ he said.
The parents were apprehended in Calaveras County and since then have been booked into the El Dorado County jail in Placerville. At this time, it is not clear if they have any legal counsel.
The Pipers arrests were a result into a very extensive investigation involving the help of several social services and other government agencies that contacted the Pipers and also reported they moved around quite often.
When Roman died, the Pipers had 7 other children in their care. Three of those children were no relation to the Pipers and have been placed back with their biological parents and three more of the children were placed in the care of Child Protective Services.
Roman was found deceased after being reported missing from his home in Placerville on Jan 11, 2020. Investigators said his death was being handled as suspicious but gave no further details of any potential; suspects, how the boy died, or the whereabouts of where the boy’s body was located. Only saying that it was located in a community 44 miles east of Sacramento.
“This is a horrific crime that rocked the community,” Wren said, his voice breaking at times. “The death of a child affects us all.”
Pipers told news reporters after the boy’s body was found that they searched for him everywhere, but they could not find him.
“We have no idea what happened, where they found him, what the autopsy report said, if that’s even done, any suspects, nothing,” the stepmother said at the time. “We have nothing.”