Baltimore police arrest suspect in killing of tech CEO


(Reuters) – Baltimore police have arrested a suspect in the killing of Pava LaPere, a 26-year-old tech executive, ending an intense two-day manhunt, local news reported.

Jason Billingsley, 32, of Baltimore, was taken into custody at a train station in Bowie, Maryland, about 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Baltimore, late on Wednesday, Fox 45 News reported.

Billingsley was arrested without incident, the local Fox affiliate reported, citing sources at the U.S. Marshals Service. Local and federal authorities began searching for Billingsley early on Monday when LaPere was found dead of blunt force trauma in an apartment complex.

It was unclear why Billingsley was identified as a suspect immediately after the killing.

An arrest warrant was issued for Billingsley on Tuesday. He was also wanted in connection to an attempted murder, arson and rape that occurred on Sept. 19.

Baltimore officials were to hold a 11 a.m. EST news conference regarding the arrest, local media reported.

Baltimore police were not immediately available for comment.

The arrest came hours after EcoMap Technologies, the company that LaPere cofounded, held a vigil in her honor at Baltimore’s Washington Monument.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

LaPere was celebrated on social media and in local news reports for her entrepreneurial success, which landed her a spot on the 2023 Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, and for promoting racial diversity and an inclusive workplace culture at EcoMap Technologies, where she served as CEO.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago, Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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