Roman Lopez, and 7 siblings
Roman Anthony Lopez, age 11 (b. 2009), was starved, tortured, and murdered by his father, Jordan Piper, and his stepmother Lindsay Piper. Roman’s 7 siblings who lived in the home (ages 1 to 17) were also abused, including Carson (b. 2008) and Brock Garvin (sons of Lindsay Piper and her former husband Marcus Garvin). All the children were homeschooled.
Roman’s mother, Rochelle Lopez, did a tour of service in Iraq in 2009, around the time Roman was born. Rochelle Lopez experienced physical and mental health challenges as a result of her service, so Roman spent his first seven years with his paternal grandmother, Jackie Farah, in Wisconsin. Farah described Roman as “funny, goofy and loved to dance,” and Rochelle noted that “he loved trains and he loved cars and he loved being in the water. He was a little water bug.” Rochelle Lopez last saw Roman in 2018 “after a custody agreement with his father fell apart.” Around that time Roman went to live with the Pipers in Michigan and later Pennsylvania, where Roman “became distant” from Farah and the abuse began March 1, 2018. Around the same time, when Roman was in third grade, Lindsay Piper pulled all the children out of school to homeschool them, explicitly in order to hide the abuse. In his victim statement, Carson noted that “She told people we were homeschooled but we weren’t… It was to protect herself from school counselors and staff. I believe that if we had gone to school that someone would have had a feeling that something was off and that she would have been reported.” Carson and Brock also reported that Lindsay Piper coached the children to lie to authorities about the abuse and threatened to abuse them if they did not participate in abusing their siblings. The family moved often to avoid detection. In December 2019, Jordan Piper also began grooming and creating pornographic images of a girl who lived in the home.
Lindsay Peters whipped Roman with a cord, zip-tied him to a bed by his fingers, zip-tied him in a stress position in the closet, and forced him to sleep in a box or closet without access to a bathroom. She also starved him, so at the time of Roman’s death he weighed only 42 lbs., the weight of a 5-year-old. She mixed poison into Roman’s drinking water; he was dehydrated when he died. She deprived Roman of medical care—he had not visited a medical professional in several years at the time of his death. About two months before Roman’s death, the Pipers moved the family to California where they rented a house.
The abuse came to light when Roman was reported missing in January 2020. After a community search, later that same day, his body was found in a storage bin in the Pipers’ basement. After a lengthy investigation, the Pipers were finally arrested Feb. 4, 2021 and charged with child abuse, poisoning, and torture. In April 2021, Rochelle Lopez died before the Pipers could be charged with Roman’s murder; they were finally charged in October 2021 as the investigation continued. In June 2022, Jordan Piper was additionally charged with sexual exploitation of a child; his case is ongoing. As part of a plea deal, in July 2022, Lindsay Piper pled “no contest” to murder and the other charges against her were dropped; she was sentenced to 15 years to life.
Date: January 11, 2020
Location: Placerville, California