By Marlee Ginter

2/4/21 Update – Lopez’s father, Jordan Piper, 36, and stepmother, Lindsay 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) — Eleven days after a missing boy was found dead in Placerville, his mother and the community still want to know what happened.

Dozens gathered in downtown Placerville Thursday night to light candles and pray for 11-year-old Roman Lopez. They surrounded Shelly Lopez, the boy’s biological mother, offering hugs, reading bible verses and shedding tears. Once strangers, many now feel connected through tragedy.

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“I’m a mother. I’m a military mother twice. It started out just being a missing child in the community and then to hear what this mother has gone through. I had to be here, we all should be here,” said Christie Ashley.

READ MORE: Community Rallies Around Mother Of 11-Year-Old Found Dead In Placerville

Roman’s mother Shelly Lopez traveled to California from Wisconsin shortly after she says she learned about her son’s death online. She hadn’t seen him for two years saying Roman’s father, who had custody, wouldn’t let her see him.

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She is now preparing to go back to Wisconsin with very few answers from police, who have called Roman’s death “suspicious.” An autopsy has been performed on Roman’s body, but police have not yet released the cause of death.