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A Couple Moved to California with Their Family. Months Later, Their Son's Body Was Found in a Storage Bin in the Basement.

Couple Sentenced for Murder After Son Found Dead in Storage Bin
Source: MEGA; El Dorado County District Attorney's Office

The parents of an 11-year-old boy will spend years behind bars for his death.

Jan. 8 2024, Published 4:01 p.m. ET

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A father and stepmother in California are both now serving time in prison after their young son was found dead in a storage bin in the basement of the family’s home over four years ago, according to authorities.

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On Jan. 12, 2020 — one day after the missing person report was filed — police searching the Placerville residence of Jordan Piper and Lindsay Piper located the body of 11-year-old Roman Anthony Lopez stuffed in the container in the basement.

At the time of the grisly discovery, the couple had lived in the rented home for two months after moving from Michigan with the victim and seven other children, ages 1 to 17 at the time, the Mountain Democrat reported.

After a yearlong investigation, police arrested the Pipers in February 2021 and charged them with child abuse and torture in connection to Roman’s death. Lindsay received an additional charge of poisoning, while Jordan got an additional count of failing to provide for a child, according to the publication.

The Placerville Police Department noted in a news release that an autopsy revealed no obvious trauma but Roman "was found to be severely malnourished and dehydrated" when he died.

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The boy allegedly also had poison in his system, officials said.

“Lindsay Marie Piper willfully and unlawfully mingled a poison and harmful substance with food, drink, medicine and pharmaceutical product,” states a criminal complaint obtained by the Mountain Democrat.

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El Dorado County Chief Assistant District Attorney Joe Alexander announced a murder charge was added against both Jordan and Lindsay Piper on Oct. 28, 2021.

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Authorities said there were several factors that contributed to the investigation's lengthiness.

“Much of this case involved the analysis of forensic evidence, to include obtaining search warrants to seize electronic devices, review data, and working with medical professionals as well as experts in the field of child abuse,” Placerville police said. “Adding to the complexity of this case was how often this family moved and the various agencies they had encountered. The combined investigative team contacted multiple agencies, in another state, including child protective services, medical providers, law enforcement agencies and courts.”

On Jan. 4, 2023, Jordan Piper was sentenced to serve 15 years to life in prison, the El Dorado County District Attorney's Office announced.

According to reports, the father was already behind bars serving a 15-year sentence in an unrelated case for sexual exploitation of a child when he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the fall.

The sexual exploitation crime was discovered during the investigation into Roman Lopez's death.

Lindsay Piper was convicted of the second-degree murder of her stepson in July 2023, and a judge sentenced her to 15 years to life in prison, officials said.

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