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.


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PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — An 11-year-old boy who went missing Saturday morning in Placerville has been found dead, police said.

“We had got some news actually there was a boy that was missing. We saw people all last night walking around the neighborhood,” Michael Saragosa said.

It’s a discovery sending shock waves through many.

“Walking over here I just couldn’t help it. I just broke down. It’s sad,” Kristen Nale said.

The Placerville Police Department said the body of Roman Lopez was located Saturday under suspicious circumstances, and that an investigation into the child’s death is underway.

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Lopez was last seen at his home Saturday morning at 2892 Coloma St., authorities said. Neighbors immediately began to help search for the 11-year-old boy.

“Immediately all of us around here started looking garages and our buildings,” Jim Connerley said.

A neighbor named Ed said, “We went down into our basement area and we kind of scouted through all of that to make sure there wasn’t anybody hiding in someplace.”

Tom Piper placed flowers at a nearby church for Lopez despite never knowing him or his family.

“Nobody wants to see something like this in any town. Nowhere. Nobody wants to see a child die,” Piper said.

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No further details have been released. Anyone with information relevant to the incident is asked to contact Det. Luke Gadow at 530-642-5210.