Suspect wanted in murder of Baltimore tech CEO arrested: US Marshals

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Suspect wanted in murder of Baltimore tech CEO arrested: US Marshals
Suspect wanted in murder of Baltimore tech CEO arrested: US Marshals

The manhunt for a convict accused of murdering a Baltimore tech CEO, and who has also been linked to an attempted murder, arson and rape that occurred last week, has ended with the suspect's arrest.

The U.S. Marshals told ABC News late Wednesday night that Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, of Baltimore, who was wanted for first-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment and other charges in connection with the death of Pava LaPere, 26, the founder of EcoMap Technologies, was arrested in Maryland.

Police found LaPere dead with "blunt-force trauma wounds" in a Baltimore apartment building on Monday, within hours of being reported missing, according to Baltimore Commissioner Richard Worley. Billingsley was announced as a suspect in the case on Tuesday.

Amid the investigation, Baltimore police said on Wednesday that Billingsley was also wanted in connection with an attempted murder, arson and rape that occurred on Sept. 19 in the 800 block of Edmondson Avenue.

In that case, police responding to the report of a fire found a man and woman suffering from multiple undisclosed injuries. They were transported to area hospitals in critical condition, police said at the time. A 5-year-old was also found on the upper level of the home unharmed, police said.

"Multiple warrants have been issued for Billingsley and detectives continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners in apprehending him," the Baltimore Police Department said in a statement.

Police are offering a $6,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest and charges against Billingsley.

Detectives are also reviewing all cases since October 2022 "in order to determine any other connections."

Billingsley was previously convicted of a sex offense in 2015 and released in October 2022, according to Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services online records.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison with all but 14 years suspended due to good-time credits -- also known as diminution credits -- given for good behavior and education under a Maryland statute. Additional time would likely be subtracted for any time served between arrest and sentencing and days off each month, according to ABC News legal contributor Brian Buckmire.

This type of release would typically require mandatory supervision, including "heavy surveillance," David Jaros, the faculty director of the Center for Criminal Justice Reform at the University of Baltimore, told ABC News.

Billingsley is a registered sex offender in the state's database.

He is believed to be "armed and dangerous," Worley told reporters during a press briefing on Tuesday while urging anyone with information on his whereabouts to call 911.

"This individual will kill and he will rape; he will do anything he can to cause harm," Worley said.

A vigil is scheduled to be held Wednesday evening for LaPere, EcoMap said.

LaPere's family released a statement Wednesday reflecting on her life, compassion and work ethic.

"We have lost a deeply loved daughter, sister and friend who could understand all of us in a way that no other human being could. Pava had a unique vantage into our lives, and an intelligence to understand that each human is unique and irreplaceable," they said in the statement. "In life's darkest moments, Pava's council and reflection gave all of us a perspective, and the will to persevere despite the odds."

The family also remarked that LaPere, "loved Baltimore, its people, its potential, its art, its history and architecture."

"There was no bigger ambassador for all that is great about the city," they said,

EcoMap Technologies, a Baltimore-based company, said LaPere was a "visionary force" behind the startup as well as a "deeply compassionate and dedicated leader."

"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 company said in a statement on Tuesday.

ABC News' Desiree Adib, Beatrice Peterson and Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.