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Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere was found on apartment rooftop, died of strangulation and blunt force trauma

A worker found LaPere, the 26-year-old CEO of startup EcoMap Technologies, in her apartment building Monday after she was reported missing.
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BALTIMORE — Tech entrepreneur Pava LaPere was found dead on the roof of her building, strangled and brutally beaten with a brick, court documents show.

LaPere, 26, had blunt force trauma wounds to her head, face and body, according to a statement of charges filed in District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City.

Pav LaPere.
Pava LaPere.pavamarie via Instagram

LaPere was half-clothed when authorities found her. The documents do not offer other details about the nature of the crime.

Authorities found a brick, blood, three teeth, buttons, pants, a broken hair clip and a pair of red shoes near her body, the document shows. 

Her death was ruled a homicide by strangulation and blunt force trauma.

The suspect in her killing, Jason Billingsley, 32, was arrested around 11 p.m. Wednesday without incident after a major manhunt.

He is charged with multiple counts in LaPere’s death, including first-degree murder and assault, according to court records. He is also charged with using a brick as a dangerous weapon.

LaPere appeared to let Billingsley into the building Friday night, security video shows. A man whom authorities believe to be the suspect waved at her through the glass door to come over to him, documents show, after which she opened the door, spoke to him and let him inside. The two then got into the elevator. LaPere lived and worked in the building.

Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said Thursday that he believes LaPere was killed Friday night. A worker found her body in the building Monday after she was reported missing.

Worley said that investigators are still processing evidence “to determine exactly what occurred” and that they do not know whether there are “any connections” between the victim and the suspect.

Billingsley was also suspected of raping a woman days before LaPere's death and was already under police surveillance, authorities said Thursday. Police, however, declined to tell the public about the incident because they believed it was "targeted," stirring up criticism that LaPere's death might have been avoided.

In that incident, Billingsley is accused of slitting a woman’s throat and raping her “several times during the night” before tying her up with duct tape and lighting her on fire, court documents show. Billingsley is also alleged to have handcuffed the woman’s boyfriend and set him ablaze.

The woman told authorities she heard a loud banging at the door on Sept. 19 by a man who said he worked for the building’s maintenance department. (Billingsley was a maintenance worker in the building.)

The man, who was wearing a mask, then kicked in the front door and pointed a gun at her, documents show. 

Authorities found a backpack in the building’s back alley that contained many items, including a serrated knife, rolls of duct tape, handcuffs, bleach, a gas can, a lighter and clothing.

Video from an earlier day showed him wearing the clothes that were found in the backpack, according to court documents.

Worley said investigators know why Billingsley allegedly committed the crimes but said he did not want to "talk bad" about the victims.

Billingsley was also sentenced in 2015 to 30 years in prison, with 16 years suspended, after he pleaded guilty to first-degree rape, online court records show. He was released from prison in October 2022 after earning "diminution credits" for good behavior, something allowed by state law, Baltimore City State’s Attorney Ivan J. Bates said.

LaPere was the CEO and founder of the software startup EcoMap Technologies.

In a statement, her family said they were “relieved to know he can no longer hurt other innocent victims.”

“While this doesn’t change that Baltimore lost one of its most passionate, influential fans, our efforts remain focused on remembering and celebrating Pava Marie — her life, successes, and legacy,” the statement said.

Antonio Planas reported from Baltimore and Melissa Chan from New York.