Man Arrested After Tech CEO Found Murdered In Her Baltimore Apartment
Pava LaPere, a rising tech star in her twenties, was murdered in her Baltimore home. After a few days on the run, Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, was arrested and charged with her murder.
Pava LaPere, the 26-year-old founder and chief executive of a tech start-up, was found murdered in her Baltimore apartment at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, 2023.
The New York Times described LaPere as “a rising businesswoman devoted to her community”. She started EcoMap Technologies, a company that aimed to ultimately make information more accessible to all. Earlier in 2023, LaPere was named on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in the social impact category.
LaPere had been reported missing before police found her in her home. She had suffered “signs of blunt-force trauma,” according to the Baltimore Police Department.
Jason Dean Billingsley, a 32-year-old convicted sex offender, was soon identified as a prime suspect. He was supposed to serve 14 years in prison for a sex offense but was released five years early, in October 2022. Police warned that he was considered armed and dangerous when he went on the run after LaPere’s murder. Police revealed that they do not think that LaPere knew Billingsley, and they didn’t say how they came to believe Billingsley was the primary suspect.
Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said during a news conference that Billingsley was wanted for first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, assault, and additional charges.
CNN reported that Worley cautioned, “This individual will kill, and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm.”
After 11 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2023, the manhunt ended when Billingsley was arrested and taken into custody by a SWAT team in Bowie, Maryland.
The day before he was caught, his mother Scarlett Billingsley, 72, urged him to surrender to authorities. She told NBC News, "I told him to turn himself in because they’re going to kill him. I don’t want police to shoot him because they think he has a gun.” She added that she didn’t know where her son was at that time and that he was not going to tell her.
Despite her worries, Billingsley made it into custody safely, and he was cooperative during the arrest.