Suspect arrested in killing of Baltimore tech entrepreneur


Maryland authorities said a suspect has been arrested in the killing of a Baltimore-based tech entrepreneur.

The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) announced early Thursday the arrest of Jason Billingsley, who is suspected in the killing of Pava LaPere.

Authorities found LaPere dead in her apartment building with signs of blunt force trauma on her head after she was reported missing Monday evening. Authorities had issued an arrest warrant for Billingsley, saying he was wanted on a first-degree murder charge connected to LaPere’s death.

Baltimore police also said Billingsley, 32, is also a person of interest in an attempted murder, rape, and arson incident that occurred earlier this month, according to the Associated Press.

Billingsley was paroled last year in an earlier sexual assault case, the AP reported, with court records showing he pleaded guilty to first-degree sex assault in 2015.

The Hill has reached out to Baltimore Police Department for comment and more information.

LaPere, a Johns Hopkins University graduate, founded tech startup EcoMap Technologies while she was still in school.

EcoMap Technologies uses technology to curate data and make information more accessible across social ecosystems. The company’s clients includes Meta and The Aspen Institute.

Family and friends held a vigil for the 26-year-old tech entrepreneur, with many remembering her as someone who shifted her focus to building within her community and saying her entrepreneurship created meaningful social change.

LaPere was named to the Forbes Magazine 30 under 30 list earlier this year for social impact.

“She knew what she wanted to accomplish and there was nothing that would get in her way,” LaPere’s father, Frank LaPere, told those in attendance at her vigil Wednesday night, according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.