The Baltimore Police Department on Wednesday (September 27) issued an arrest warrant for the suspect in the murder of Pava LaPere, the 26-year-old CEO of EcoMap Technologies, a startup. LaPere was discovered dead in a downtown Baltimore apartment on Monday, bearing signs of blunt-force trauma to her head, as reported by CNN Business.
Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley announced the search for the suspect, 32-year-old Jason Dean Billingsley, during a news conference on Tuesday. Responding to a call for service at an apartment complex in the 300 block of West Franklin Street at approximately 11:34 AM on Monday, Baltimore police officers found LaPere with severe head injuries. Further details regarding her death have not been released by the authorities, the report said.
The medical examiner’s office has taken custody of the body, with an examination pending, according to police officials cited in the CNN report.
Billingsley is wanted on charges of first-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and additional offenses, and he is considered armed and dangerous.
“This individual will kill and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm,” warned Worley. Baltimore police have not disclosed any information regarding a prior connection between LaPere and Billingsley, nor have they detailed how Billingsley became a suspect, according to the report.
Worley issued a direct appeal to Billingsley, urging him to surrender: “We will find you, so I would ask you to turn yourself into any officer, any police station.”
According to the company’s website, LaPere and Sherrod Davis co-founded EcoMap Technologies when LaPere was a 21-year-old college student at Johns Hopkins. With just over 30 employees, the startup works in the field of artificial intelligence, providing AI tools such as customizable chatbots to improve client information accessibility and streamline customer communications.
The company confirmed LaPere’s tragic passing in a statement: “With profound sadness and shock, EcoMap announces the tragic and untimely passing of our beloved Founder and CEO, Pava LaPere. The circumstances surrounding Pava’s death are deeply distressing, and our deepest condolences are with her family, friends, and loved ones during this incredibly devastating time.”
In August, EcoMap announced it had secured nearly $8 million in financing. Earlier this year, Pava LaPere earned a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the social impact category.