republican debate

Suspected killer of Baltimore CEO connected to another crime: Police

  • Pava LaPere, CEO of EcoMap Technologies, was found dead in her apartment
  • Police say suspected killer, who is on the run, is 'armed and dangerous'
  • Friends say LaPere was passionate, hardworking and loved Baltimore

(NewsNation) — Baltimore police, who are still searching for the man they believe killed the young, successful CEO of a startup tech company, say they have now connected the suspect to another crime.

On Monday, the Baltimore Police Department said it was able to confirm through its investigation Jason Billingsley is wanted in connection to an attempted murder, arson and rape from Sept. 19 of this year, which also happened in Baltimore.

Billingsley had already been wanted for first-degree murder, assault and reckless endangerment, among other charges, for the death of 26-year-old Pava LaPere, police said.

One week before allegedly killing LaPere, police say Billingsley handcuffed and duct taped a couple, raped the woman, slit her throat, doused them both in a liquid, then lit them on fire. All of this happened while a child was home.

LaPere, CEO of EcoMap Technologies, was found at her apartment with signs of blunt force trauma Monday after being reported missing earlier in the day. Police have not given specifics about how she died, but did say 32-year-old Billingsley is suspected of killing her.

The two were not previously connected to each other. Billingsley is a registered sex offender, sentenced in 2015 to 30 years in prison for a 2013 sex offense. However, he was released last October because of his good behavior in prison after serving just seven years of his total sentence.

In a statement to NewsNation, the Maryland Department of Public Safety said Billingsley was not paroled, and was released on mandatory supervision, as is required by statute.

Multiple warrants have been issued for Billingsley, police said, and detectives are now reviewing all cases since October 2022 to the present day to determine any other connections, like the one on Sept.19.

Police say Billingsley is considered armed and dangerous.

“We ask anyone who may have seen him or knows him or knows his whereabouts to contact police immediately by calling 911,” Baltimore Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said. “We implore residents to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This individual will kill and he will rape he will do anything he can to cause harm, so please be aware of your surroundings.”

Friends of LaPere, who spoke to NewsNation, said they had high expectations that she would leave her mark on the world, calling her a passionate, hard-working person who loved the city where she would ultimately lose her life.

“She was that kind of person, like the CEOs we read about that wake up at 5:30 in the morning and start multimillion-dollar companies. She was on the road to doing that, to making that real,” friend Karina Mandell said.

As founder and CEO of EcoMap, LaPere had already made Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for social impact.

On Twitter, EcoMap said Pava was not only the “visionary force” behind the company, but was also a “deeply compassionate and dedicated leader.”

“Her untiring commitment to our company, to Baltimore, to amplifying the critical work of ecosystems across the country, and to building a deeply inclusive culture as a leader, friend and partner set a standard for leadership,” EcoMap said. “Her legacy will live on through the work we continue to do.”

On Wednesday night, a crowd of dozens gathered at the Washington Monument in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon area to honor LaPere.

“She’s always been a leader,” LaPere’s father Frank said. “Always been driven in creative ways, always intended and tended to be a high achiever. Even if she didn’t mention it or say it or anything, but she could just tell that she knew what she wanted to accomplish.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation