The Baltimore police department has scheduled a news conference for Thursday to reveal the apprehension of a suspect believed to be connected to the murder of Pava LaPere, a prominent tech entrepreneur in Baltimore. Details about the arrest are scarce, as the police have not yet responded to early Thursday requests for comments. The notice for the news conference, slated for 11 a.m., simply states, “BPD to announce arrest of murder suspect Jason Billingsley.”
Jason Billingsley’s mother had implored him to surrender to authorities, and a $6,000 reward had been offered for information leading to his capture, with a warning that he was armed and considered dangerous.
Police Commissioner Richard Worley had grimly stated, “This individual will kill, and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm.” Billingsley was characterized as a “repeat violent offender” by Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates during an ongoing manhunt.
The 32-year-old Billingsley was wanted on a first-degree murder warrant related to the death of Pava LaPere, the 26-year-old CEO and founder of the software startup EcoMap Technologies. LaPere, remembered as a significant figure in Baltimore’s small tech community, was discovered deceased in an apartment with apparent blunt-force injuries earlier in the week.
The pursuit of Billingsley involved both local police and the U.S. Marshals Service, and he was also sought in connection with an unrelated attempted murder and rape case earlier in the month.
Court records revealed that Billingsley had previously pleaded guilty to a first-degree sex offense and had received a 30-year prison sentence, with 16 years suspended, in 2015. He had been paroled in October.
The circumstances surrounding LaPere’s death have not been extensively disclosed by the police. She had been reported missing, and shortly thereafter, her lifeless body was discovered.
EcoMap Technologies, which focuses on enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of information ecosystems, offers a range of products, including chatbots and resources for businesses and organizations. Pava LaPere had gained recognition for her entrepreneurial prowess and was included in Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” list in the current year. Notably, her company boasted prominent clients, including Meta and the T. Rowe Price Foundation.
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Originally from Tucson, Arizona, LaPere had come to Baltimore to attend Johns Hopkins University and had developed a deep affection for the city, leading her to establish her business and become a part of its tech landscape, according to acquaintances.