The mother of a young boy found dead in California says she had no idea her son had died or that his father had even moved with him to California.
“I don’t know what happened to him. I don’t know if he was in pain. And I don’t know if he was missing me or what was going on,” Shelly Lopez told CBS 13, referring to her son, Roman Lopez, who was found deceased last week in Placerville.
As CrimeOnline previously reportedly authorities found the 11-year-old’s body on Sunday afternoon after police searched a Placerville neighborhood, where he lived with his father. The boy’s family reported him missing the day prior. He was reportedly last seen on Saturday morning at 2892 Coloma Street.
Placerville Police Sgt. John Meuser said during a Sunday press conference that Roman’s death is being investigated as “suspicious.”
One neighbor, Jordyn Gilmore, said that the family had only moved recently moved into the neighborhood. Another neighbor, who identified himself as Ed, said he helped investigators access a property behind his home.
“The Placerville police came by and I helped them get access to the property behind us and we searched all the trailers and stuff out back there that could be attractive for an 11-year-old boy to hide up in,” Ed said.
Although an autopsy on the boy has been completed, authorities have remained mum on additional details involving Roman’s death.
According to FOX 40, seven children lived in the Placerville home. Following Roman’s death, the children were placed in protective custody. Michigan resident Kira Sutkay told the outlet that three of her children lived in the residence. She’s now trying to get them back.
Suktay explained that Lopez’s family offered to take her children in while she was going through hard times. She accepted the offer, thinking her children would be safe.
“There’s just no way a child just dies, you know, unexpectedly…The boy was healthy. My three children, they always played with him……I want my kids back.”
Shelly Lopez explained that Roman’s father gained custody of the boy after she suffered from injuries while serving in the U.S. Army, deployed in Iraq. Her injuries resulted in a pain pill addiction. Lopez said that since then, the boy’s father has kept him from her and has moved several times.
Lopez said she hadn’t seen Roman in around two years and only found out about his death after family members read an online news story.
“It was my mom and my sister and a family friend, and they sat me down and my mom, she said, ‘It’s Roman,'” Shelly Lope explained.
“Why didn’t anybody let me know? Why didn’t they even know I existed? People in that town didn’t even know that I was his mother. There are so many things that are wrong with this situation and don’t add up and don’t make sense.”
Lopez, who lives in Wisconsin, plans to travel to California soon to seek answers. She also wants Roman’s body returned home with her for burial.
“There are so many different stories out there, and I don’t know what the truth is and I want to know, I want to know what happened to my son,” Lopez said. “I want to know what his final moments were. Why he was, where he was. If anybody knows anything, any little thing would help. I just want to know what happened to my son.”
The story continues to develop. Check back for updates.
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[Featured Photo: Roman Lopez/Police Handout]