PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – A big question surrounding the arrest of a father and stepmother over the death of 11-year-old Roman Lopez in Placerville is why no murder charges were brought.
On Thursday, more than a year after Roman’s body was found in a storage bin in the basement of his home, his father, 36-year-old Jordan Piper, and stepmother, 38-year-old Lindsey Piper, were arrested on multiple charges, including child abuse and torture. Jordan Piper was also charged with failure to provide care, while Lindsey Piper was also charged with poisoning.
The Pipers were detained in Calaveras County, and El Dorado County authorities, including the Placerville prosecutor and police, announced the arrests were related to Roman’s death.
MORE: Timeline of events in the death investigation of Placerville Boy Roman Lopez
Police said when Roman’s body was found he appeared malnourished and dehydrated but showed no signs of physical trauma.
Due to the complexity of the case, details about the location of Roman’s body were not released until more than a year after his disappearance and subsequent death. And it’s this complexity, among other things, that according to Mark Reichel, a lawyer in the Sacramento area, may help keep the Piper from being charged with murder.
Reichel said the murder charges against the suspects could lead the Pipers to demand a speedy trial, and prosecutors just might need more time.
“They calculate what they can do right now. That keeps people, ”said Reichel. “That will keep them in jail and they won’t get bail because this is the ghost that hangs over them. It gives them time to find out what the real cause of death was and whether they can bring a murder charge. “
Reichel added that the pandemic may have contributed to the delay in investigating and releasing information.
As of Friday morning, there was still no word on when the Pipers will appear in court.
Some of the charges in the complaints relate to alleged crimes dating back to 2018 and may not be directly related to Roman’s death.
At the time of Roman’s death, he was living with the Pipers along Coloma Street with seven other children between the ages of 1 and 17.
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