Roman Lopez's Father and Stepmom Now Face Upgraded Charges of Murder in the California Boy's Death

Parents of Roman Lopez charged with murder.
Lindsay and Jordan Piper. Placerville Police Department

Jordan and Lindsay Piper had been charged in February with child abuse in connection with the death of 11-year-old Roman Lopez.

The father and stepmother of 11-year-old Roman Lopez are facing murder charges in connection with the child's 2020 death, prosecutors said Friday.

Jordan and Lindsay Piper had been arrested in February and charged with child abuse likely to cause great bodily injury or death, and causing cruel and extreme pain for revenge, extortion or sadistic purpose, according to court records. Lindsay Piper was also charged with poisoning. The Northern California couple has pleaded not guilty to those counts.

They are expected to be arraigned on Nov. 19 on the new charges. They have been held in the El Dorado County Jail since their February arrest in lieu of more than $1 million bail, according to online inmate records.

Prosecutors would not say what led to the new charges.

“It’s great news. Justice for Roman is what we have been aiming for this entire investigation. So long as we get justice for that little guy we will be happy,” said Dan Maciel, a commander with the Placerville Police Department.

Roman was one of eight children living at the Pipers' home in Placerville, authorities said. His emaciated remains were found in a storage bin in the basement in January 2020, not long after he was reported missing, investigators said.

An autopsy determined Roman died of “no obvious trauma,” and it was a slow journey to murder charges being filed. CBS Sacramento reported that officials told the station the child had suffered severe malnourishment. 

The remaining seven children have been relocated to a Michigan family, authorities said.

The boy's mother, who had lost custody of Roman, died in April, the CBS affiliate reported.

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