© 2017, The Author(s). We investigate possible effects of correlations between stopped nucleons on higher order proton cumulants at low energy heavy-ion collisions. We find that fluctuations of the number of wounded nucleons Npartlead to rather nontrivial dependence of the correlations on the centrality; however, this effect is too small to explain the large and positive four-proton correlations found in the preliminary data collected by the STAR collaboration at s=7.7 GeV. We further demonstrate that, by taking into account additional proton clustering, we are able to qualitatively reproduce the preliminary experimental data. We speculate that this clustering may originate either from collective/multi-collision stopping which is expected to be effective at lower energies or from a possible first-order phase transition, or from (attractive) final state interactions. To test these ideas we propose to measure a mixed multi-particle correlation between stopped protons and a produced particle (e.g. pion, antiproton).