PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – Thursday’s announcement of the arrest of Roman Lopez’s father and stepmother has brought some closure for a Placerville community that, over the course of a year, had been seeking answers about the 11-year-old’s death.
Jordan Piper, 36, and Lindsay Piper, 38, were taken into custody in Calaveras County early Thursday morning on charges of multiple charges, including child abuse, poisoning, and torture.READ MORE: Home And Sheds Catch Fire In Del Paso Heights
But the lack of details made public in the shocking case weighed heavily on the community — something Placerville Mayor Dennis Thomas openly acknowledged.
“No one wants to hear ‘we cannot give information regarding an ongoing investigation’; to hear ‘we are working on it’ just seems not enough,” said Placerville Mayor Dennis Thomas.
So, why did it take so long for law enforcement to provide many details?
It was a complex case
Roman’s body was discovered by investigators in a bin in the basement of his family’s home in Placerville. He was malnourished and dehydrated but showed no signs of physical trauma, say police. As a result, much of this case involved the analysis of forensic evidence, including obtaining search warrants to seize electronic devices and review the data on the devices, said Placerville Police Chief Joseph Wren. Police also worked with medical experts and experts in the field of child abuse.
Adding to the complexity of the case, was the number of times Roman’s family had moved and the various agencies they encountered with law enforcement agencies, medical providers, and the courts.READ MORE: SunVilla Solar Patio Umbrellas Sold At Costco Recalled After Multiple Fires
The case also raised a lot of questions
As police searched for answers, they were confronted with more.
“We were looking for answers, and each answer we obtained, oftentimes produced several other questions that required answers as well,” said Wren. “A lot of that information was kept confidential for the integrity of the investigation. And…this is a case involving a child, so there’s a lot of information we won’t release to the public.”
It was only when the DA’s office and police met and determined there was enough evidence to charge the Pipers, that they moved ahead in the case, Wren said.
Mayor Thomas said he believed investigators were working diligently on the case.
“The chief and I have had many conversations regarding this investigation, and I often was told the same thing: we are working hard on it,” Thomas said. “As I looked into his eyes, I know he was telling me the truth.”MORE NEWS: Search Histories, Location Data, Text Messages: How Personal Data Could Be Used To Enforce Anti-abortion Laws