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Placerville Boy Roman Lopez's Disappearance And Death Still A Mystery After 6 Months

2/4/21 Update – Lopez's father, Jordan Piper, 36, and stepmother, Lindsey Piper, 38, were taken into custody in Calaveras County in connection with Roman's death. They both face charges of child abuse and torture.


PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — The mysterious disappearance and death of 11-year-old Roman Lopez still haunts Placerville.

roman memorial
The memorial for Roman Lopez in Placerville. (CBS13)

People want to know what happened to Roman, whose body was found six months ago, but police still aren't ready to give answers.

A small memorial for Roman just off of Coloma Street still stands, weathering the elements for six months. It's a symbol of hope cherished by people in the community, but also a solemn reminder of how much we still don't know.

"I would like to know what happened to the little boy. I drive by often and it's really tragic that this has happened in our community," said Jennifer Kline, a Placerville resident.

A case that captivates the community stands idle.

"The law enforcement settled what they did. And they kind of kept it out of the paper pretty well," said Michael Adams, a Placerville resident.

A spokesperson for Placerville Police said they are waiting on a pathology report. But that's the same update that was given back in February. Detectives said the report is needed to move forward.

"I know from the outside looking in it looks like not much has been done, but they are working very hard on this," said Kristin Jabs-Ellenburg, a spokesperson for Roman's biological family.

Kristin Jabs-Ellenburg said Roman's mom has returned home to Wisconsin and it's been hard to wait for answers, especially so far away. Roman was living with his biological father and his wife in Placerville when he died.

READ MORE: Woman Who Says She Is Roman Lopez's Mom Found Out About His Death Online

"You really want to be right there and be hands-on with them and help the law enforcement anyway you can. So it's difficult doing it from thousands of miles away," Jabs-Ellenburg said.

The lack of answers can be disheartening, but Jabs-Ellenburg said Roman's family is asking the community to have faith in the police.

"In this type of case, you can't afford any missteps. You can't afford to have somebody get off on a technicality," she said.

It's a case full of twists and turns, some we know about and many we don't.

"They are dealing with state lines. There were other children in the home that had to go back to Michigan," Jabs-Ellenburg said.

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