Pava LaPere, the 26-year-old CEO of EcoMap Technologies, was found dead in her Baltimore apartment on Monday, with signs of blunt-force trauma to her head. The Baltimore Police Department has issued an arrest warrant for Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, who is currently at large and considered armed and dangerous.
LaPere, a Forbes 30 Under 30 award recipient in 2023 for her social impact work, was the visionary force behind EcoMap Technologies, a Baltimore-based startup. The company, which has around 30 employees, specializes in artificial intelligence tools designed to enhance customer communications and information accessibility.
The Baltimore Medical Examiner’s Office has taken possession of LaPere’s body, with an examination pending. The police have not released any further details about her death. It is believed that LaPere and Billingsley had no prior relationship.
Billingsley, who was convicted of attempted rape and other violent crimes in 2011, was paroled in October 2022 after serving part of his 30-year sentence. Baltimore Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley issued a stern warning about Billingsley, stating, “This individual will kill and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm.”
Worley also had a message for the suspect, urging him to surrender. “Every single police officer in Baltimore City, the state of Maryland as well as the U.S. Marshals are looking for you. We will find you. So, I would ask you to turn yourself in to any officer, any police station,” he said.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott expressed his outrage over the situation, stating, “There’s no way in hell he should have been out on the street.”
EcoMap Technologies issued a heartfelt statement on LaPere’s death, expressing their deep shock and pledging their unwavering support to the LaPere family. The company also expressed gratitude to the authorities and emergency services for their efforts and professionalism.
LaPere’s death has sent shockwaves through the Baltimore community, where she was highly regarded for her leadership and commitment to social impact. Delali Dzirasa, CEO of Baltimore-based company Fearless, who served as a mentor to LaPere, remembered her as a determined leader who always made space for others.