The death of Pava LePere, the CEO and founder of EcoMap Technologies, is being investigated as a homicide, and police said they had issued an arrest warrant for Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, on first-degree murder and additional charges.
"This individual will kill, and he will rape," Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said during a press conference Tuesday afternoon. "He will do anything he can to cause harm."
Worley said police officers were searching for Billingsley across the city and the state of Maryland, and the U.S. Marshals Service was on the hunt across the country.
What happened to Pava LaPere?
LaPere, 26, was found dead around 11:30 a.m. Monday at a Baltimore apartment building with signs of blunt force trauma, police said.
A missing person's report had been filed shortly before she was found dead in the apartment, police said.
Baltimore Police confirmed on Tuesday that LaPere's death was being investigated as a homicide.
What we know about Pava LaPere
LaPere founded EcoMap Technologies, a company that curates data about organizations, resources, and other assets and puts that information into platforms for users to navigate, according to the company’s website.
EcoMap Technologies confirmed the "tragic and untimely passing" of LaPere in a statement.
"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. "Pava was not only the visionary force behind EcoMap but was also a deeply compassionate and dedicated leader."
LaPere's family said in a statement to NBC News the 26-year-old was "an inspiration to so many people."
"She was driven, creative, hard working and relentless in her efforts, with her wonderful team at EcoMap Technologies," her family said. "Pava made an impact in every endeavor she undertook and on every life she touched. She will be forever missed as a daughter, sister, grand-daughter, niece, cousin and loyal friend."
LaPere was featured in Forbes' "30 Under 30" list in 2023, which said she was a Johns Hopkins University graduate who managed a team of nearly 30 employees. EcoMap Technologies had raised more than $4 million and its clients include The Aspen Institute, Meta, the WXR Fund and T.Rowe Price Foundation, according to Forbes.
Who is police suspect Jason Billingsley?
Authorities are searching for Billingsley, who they said should be considered armed and dangerous.
Billingsley was previously arrested in 2013, 2011 and 2009 for multiple charges including sex offense, second-degree assault charges and robbery, police said.
In 2015, Billingsley pleaded guilty to a first-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with 16 years suspended, according to court records obtained by NBC News.
Billingsley was released from prison in October 2022, according to the Maryland sex offender registry.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said during the Tuesday press conference Billingsley should not have been released.
"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."
Scott added, "We are tired of talking about the same people committing the same kind of crimes over and over again."
Baltimore Police said its Special Investigations Section is working to determine any potential connections between Billingsley and other cases.
Officials did not describe a possible motive for the slaying, or if there was any relationship between LaPere and Billingsley.