11-year-old Placerville boy's death deemed suspicious, police say
This story originally appeared on KCRA.
PLACERVILLE, Calif. — An 11-year-old boy who disappeared Saturday was found dead, the Placerville Police Department announced Sunday.
His death is deemed suspicious, according to police.
Roman Anthony Lopez was last seen Saturday morning at his home on Coloma Street.
“Last night, right after the sun went down, some of the employees that work with the dad that’s involved brought a flyer by, telling us about the missing 11-year-old boy,” said Ed, a neighbor who asked KCRA 3 not to use his last name.
Saturday was the first time Ed heard about Roman.
“That was followed up by a visit from some of the officers with the Placerville Police Department,” he said.
Ed helped investigators search his property for the boy. Officers returned a few hours later, Ed said.
“About 11 p.m., the police officers came back and wanted to go back into that property,” Ed said. “I got up, again, and helped them get through the fence.”
Police are releasing few details about the circumstances surrounding Roman's death, including who found the boy, where or at what time.
“At this time, we’re conducting an investigation into his suspicious death,” said Sgt. John Meuser.
Neighbors watched from their yards as detectives collected evidence over the weekend.
“It’s so sad,” said Jordyn Gilmore, who lives next door. “Who would’ve thought your next-door neighbor? Things happen, and it’s just crazy.”
Gilmore said the boy’s family had moved in a little over a month ago.
“They have little kids, too,” she said. “Completely normal. They play out in the front yard. There was nothing weird going on.”
Roman's death has shaken the tight-knit foothills town. Tom Piper did not know the family, but he left flowers near the boy’s house Sunday night.
“Nobody wants to see this happen in any town, nowhere,” Piper said. “It’s terrifying, it’s horrible.”
Dozens of strangers, like Gaie Cox, helped with the search for Roman on Saturday.
“I’m a school bus driver, and all of our kids are our kids. If it was my child, I would hope that everybody would get out,” she said. “I care 'cause every child counts. Every child counts. It takes a village.”
Anyone with information regarding Roman's death is encouraged to call Detective Luke Gadow at 530-642-5210.
No other information was released.