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‘He did not deserve this’: Mother opens up about son’s death in Placerville

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PLACERVILLE, Calif. (KTXL) -- For the first time, Roman Lopez’s biological mother opened up about the loss of her son.

The 11-year-old boy disappeared Saturday in Placerville, only to be found dead hours later.

“He was a sweet, kind little boy,” Rochelle Lopez said Tuesday in a video call with FOX40.

Police are calling Roman’s death suspicious.

“I had to find out that my son died from a news article,” Lopez said. “Nobody called me. His dad didn’t call me.”

Lopez lives in Wisconsin. The boy’s father has primary custody and recently moved his family to a home on Coloma Street in Placerville.

“I ended up getting deployed when Roman was about a year old to Iraq,” Lopez said.

Lopez said she came home from serving in the military with PTSD, health problems and substance abuse issues, which is why she said she was not given custody of Roman.

“This is literally my worst nightmare, you know. I moved to Wisconsin and started treatment so I could be back with my son and it's like I feel like I just missed it,” Lopez said. “If I would have done this a month sooner, maybe it would be different right now.”

Investigators confirmed an autopsy was performed on the boy’s body on Tuesday but have not released a cause of death.

All Lopez can do now is hope for answers and that her son didn’t suffer.

“Roman was the sweetest little boy and he definitely didn't deserve this,” Lopez said. “And I am going to do everything I can to figure out what happened. I’m actually getting ready to go from Wisconsin to California to say goodbye to my son and bring him back home.”

The other seven children who were living in this home are in protective custody, according to police.

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