Police are seeking a convicted sex offender in connection with Monday’s murder of tech company CEO Pava LaPere in Baltimore
Jason Billingsley, 32, is a suspect in the death of LaPere, whose work led her to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in its social impact category, according to CBS.
LaPere’s partially clothed body bearing the signs of blunt-force trauma was found on the roof of her apartment building late Monday morning, according to the Baltimore Banner. Initial reports indicated she was found in her apartment.
UPDATED: An awful story unfolding in Baltimore today. Police say a convicted sex offender who was released early is the prime suspect in the killing of rising tech star Pava LaPere, 26. Her body was found partially clothed on the roof of her apartment. https://t.co/6mD7axG2ZV
— Kimi Yoshino (@kyoshino) September 27, 2023
“That’s pretty horrifying,” tenant Chris McNees said, according to CBS. “I mean, just for that to happen anywhere in the city is obviously a bad thing, but it’s hard to imagine why this would happen specifically in this building.”
“This individual will kill, and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said Tuesday.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said Billingsley should never have been set free.
“There is no way in hell that he should have been out on the street,” Scott said. “When the police go out and do their job, as they did in this case … and the state’s attorney goes out and does their work, gets the conviction, the conviction should be the conviction.”
BPD announces 1st Degree Murder warrant for 32 y/o Jason Billingsley in the killing of Pava LaPere. WATF & US Marshals are actively attempting to arrest him. Billingsley is armed & dangerous. Contact 911 if you come in contact with this individual. https://t.co/6pFynzudRr pic.twitter.com/AqOZwN63sv
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) September 26, 2023
“We are tired of talking about the same people committing the same kind of crimes over and over again,” he said.
Billingsley was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 16 years suspended, after a 2015 plea of guilty to first-degree sex offense. He was released from prison in October.
Worley did not explain how Billingsley became a suspect but said there was no apparent connection between the suspect and the victim, according to the Baltimore Banner.
LaPere founded Ecomap Technologies, which created resource maps for communities.
The company released a statement about LaPere’s death, according to CBS.
“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,” the statement said.
“Pava was not only the visionary force behind EcoMap 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, and her legacy will live on through the work we continue to do.”
UpSurge Baltimore, another Baltimore-based tech company, issued a statement expressing it “profound shock and sorrow over the tragic and untimely death of Pava LaPere, Founder and CEO of EcoMap.”
“Pava was a friend and inspiration to so many of us. Our deepest, most heartfelt condolences go out to Pava’s family, friends, and the entire EcoMap team. We stand in solidarity with them, mourning the loss of a true visionary. The Baltimore tech community has lost a shining star, and it is difficult to put into words the depth of the community’s sorrow at Pava’s death,” the statement said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.