Relatives of Pava LaPere — the tech CEO found battered to death at her swanky Baltimore apartment — have blasted the “senseless violence” that claimed the life of the 26-year-old who was “on her way to changing the world.”
LaPere, the co-founder of startup EcoMap Technologies, was reported missing Monday before she was found dead with blunt-force trauma to her head, police said.
Authorities have named Jason Dean Billingsley, an “extremely dangerous” 32-year-old with a history of violence as her alleged murderer, and issued a warrant for his arrest.
“Pava has been an inspiration to so many people,” her father Frank LePere wrote on Facebook.
“She was driven, creative, hard-working, and relentless in her efforts, with her wonderful team at EcoMap Technologies.”
The heartbroken father said his daughter “made an impact in every endeavor she undertook and on every life she touched. She will be forever missed as a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and loyal friend.”
Another relative Ashley Freeman shared her own devastating tribute to LaPere on Facebook.
“You think it will never be your family, friend, or even co-worker. The harsh reality is we live in a horrifically sick world, where some people’s only goal is to harm the innocent lives [of] others,” Freeman wrote.
“Our family has been affected by a senseless act of violence that took the life of our beautiful, successful, and extremely intelligent Pava. She was on her way to changing the world, but someone took that from her.”
Freeman added, “Please keep her parents Frank and Caroline, brother Nico, and the rest of our family in your prayers.”
LaPere, who was named on this year’s Forbes 30 under 30 list for social impact, lived in the former Congress Hotel, which has since been renovated into showy apartments.
Her company, which she launched from her dorm at Johns Hopkins University at the age of 22, seeks to make ecosystems information accessible to everyone along with “powerful technology to digitize ecosystems,” according to its website.
EcoMap Technologies released a statement sending its condolences and calling LaPere’s death “deeply distressing.”
“Pava was not only the visionary force behind EcoMap but was also a deeply compassionate and dedicated leader. Her untiring commitment to our company, to Baltimore, to amplifying the critical work of ecosystems across the country, and to building a deeply inclusive culture as a leader, friend, and partner set a standard for leadership, and her legacy will live on through the work we continue to do,” it said.
Her alleged attacker is wanted on charges of first-degree murder, reckless endangerment, assault and other charges for the alleged murder, Baltimore cops said.
“This individual will kill and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm,” acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley cautioned, citing the suspect’s troubling rap sheet.
Billingsley previously pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in 2009 and second-degree assault in 2011.
In 2015, he pleaded guilty to a first-degree sex offense and was sentenced to 30 years behind bars, according to the records. He was released only seven years later by then-District Attorney Marilyn Mosby — who was backed by billionaire Democratic donor George Soros — on “good-time credits.”
Police have asked Billingsley to turn himself as “every single police officer in Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, as well as the US Marshals are looking for you.”
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