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Manhunt Underway for ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Convicted Felon Suspected of Killing A 26-year-old Female Tech CEO in Baltimore | VIDEOs

Jason Dean Billingsley (Baltimore PD) Jason Dean Billingsley (Baltimore PD)

Baltimore police are scrambling to find an “extremely dangerous” man suspected of killing 26-year-old tech CEO Pava LaPere, who was found dead in an apartment building Monday.
The suspect, 32-year-old Jason Dean Billingsley, should be considered armed and dangerous as he is wanted on charges of first-degree murder, assault, and other offenses in connection to LaPere’s death, acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said Tuesday.
LaPere, the co-founder of the small startup EcoMap Technologies, was reported missing Monday morning, police said. Hours later, police were called to a downtown apartment building, where LaPere was discovered with signs of blunt-force trauma to her head, Worley said.
The young tech executive, who had been featured in this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 list for social impact, is being mourned as an innovative leader who was devoted to supporting those around her.

The building where she was found had security measures that would have required someone to “allow the (suspect) in the building,” Worley said.

Investigators think Billingsley is still in the Baltimore area and urge anyone who has information on him or his whereabouts to call 911 immediately, Worley said Tuesday.

“This individual will kill, and he will rape,” Worley cautioned, citing the suspect’s criminal record. “He will do anything he can to cause harm.”

In a news release announcing a $6,000 reward for information leading to an arrest or charges, Baltimore police said the suspect is also wanted in connection to attempted murder, arson and rape last week.

A man and woman were hospitalized in critical condition, police said. Their conditions were upgraded the next day and they were listed as stable.

Evidence connects Billingsley to the killing of LaPere and the September 19 case, police said in the release. Police said they believe the suspect is armed.

Mayor Brandon Scott said he considers Billingsley “extremely dangerous.”

NBC News reported Wednesday that Billingsley’s mother has texted with her son and told him to surrender.

“I told him to turn himself in because they’re going to kill him,” Scarlett Billingsley told NBC News.

She told NBC she doesn’t know whether her son, who was at her house Monday for a few minutes, knew LaPere. Her son had a gun Monday that she thinks he was trying to sell, the mother said.

Suspect has been out of prison since October

Jason Billingsley pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in 2009 and second-degree assault in 2011, according to court records. He also pleaded guilty to a first-degree sex offense in 2015 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison with 16 months already served, the records show.

Billingsley was released from prison in October 2022. A spokesperson for Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said Billingsley had not been paroled but was released “on mandatory supervision as required by statute,” The New York Times reported.

Since his release from prison, Billingsley has been registered as a sex offender in Maryland’s database.

LaPere was a ‘visionary’ force in Baltimore

LaPere’s sudden death stunned loved ones and members of the local tech community who say the EcoMap co-founder was a beloved leader whose relentless dedication to her work catapulted the startup’s growing success.

“Pava’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity, amplifying ecosystems, and fortifying Baltimore’s tech community set her apart as an exceptional leader, and her boundless passion for EcoMap’s mission was foundational to our success,” EcoMap said in a Facebook post.Pava LaPere (EcoMap Tech) Pava LaPere (EcoMap Tech)

LaPere founded EcoMap alongside COO Sherrod Davis while she was a 21-year-old college student at Johns Hopkins University, according to EcoMap’s website. With just over 30 employees, the startup is part of the artificial intelligence wave. It sells AI tools, including a customizable chatbot, that aim to make clients’ information easier to access and customer communications more seamless, the company says.

In August, the company said it had reached nearly $8 million in financing.

In addition to being a driving force behind EcoMap, LaPere strove to uplift others in Baltimore, the mayor said.

“Pava was a very young, talented, devoted Baltimorean – someone that I had the opportunity to get to know over the past few years – who would help anybody that she would see,” Scott recalled.

When EcoMap announced it had closed a $3.5 million funding round in June, LaPere said she and the company were “particularly proud of the number of investors from our hometown of Baltimore.”

We are passionately committed to making an impact on the city, and we are proud to be part of its growing tech ecosystem,” LaPere said in a news release at the time.

Delali Dzirasa, LaPere’s mentor and CEO of Baltimore-based company Fearless, told CNN LaPere was highly regarded in her community.

“There is no person on planet Earth that could tell Pava that she couldn’t do something,” Dzirasa said. “Even though she was a force, she always made space for other people,” he added.

A friend of LaPere told CNN she was a “beacon of light for the community.”

Nicole Foster, who co-founded the plant-based ice cream shop Cajou Creamery in the neighborhood where LaPere was found, told CNN she has known LaPere for about two years and last saw her about a week ago.

What we know about repeat offender suspect in Baltimore tech CEO's death
“She was, for us, a friend, a cheerleader, and customer,” Foster said. “At one point, she mobilized her company and they took time out of their schedules to do this off-project to help Cajou Creamery with strategic fundraising efforts. That’s the type of person that she was and the type of leader that she was. She was focused on collective action and working together to make Baltimore shine.”

A vigil will be held on Wednesday evening to “celebrate Pava’s extraordinary life and the profound impact she had on our community,” EcoMap said in a social media post.

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