The prime suspect in the heinous murder of a tech startup CEO in Baltimore has been arrested after being on the run for two days. Jason Billingsley, aged 32, the suspect wanted for the brutal murder of Baltimore technology CEO Pava LaPere, was taken into custody on Wednesday night, according to authorities and a report.
Cops successfully tracked Billingsley to the MARC Train Station located on Laurel-Bowie Road in Bowie, Prince George's County, at 11:10 p.m., leading to his arrest. Sources speaking to WBFF also confirmed Billingsley's arrest and they noted that he was arrested without any incident and is in custody.
Arrested at Last
Billingsley, the fugitive, had been identified as the sole suspect in the murder of Pava LaPere. LaPere, a 26-year-old and the founder of EcoMap Technologies was reported missing on Monday and tragically found dead with evidence of blunt-force trauma to her head.
The young CEO, recognized on this year's Forbes 30 under 30 list for social impact, was found badly beaten and partially clothed.
Police said that a press conference regarding the arrest would be held at 11 am on Thursday, although no additional details about the arrest were provided at that moment.
Maryland became the 18th U.S. state to abolish the death penalty in 2013 when Governor Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law, outlawing capital punishment in the state.
Billingsley's mother, Scarlett, had previously offered an apology to the victim's family. She expressed her inability to comprehend what might have motivated her son if he is indeed responsible.
Billingsley has a troubling history of sexual offenses, including a brutal incident where he strangled and raped a woman at knifepoint, resulting in a 30-year prison sentence.
In a plea to her son, his mother begged for him to turn himself in when she last heard from him on Tuesday. "I told him that he needs to turn himself in, but I really don't think he's going to do that because he's scared," Scarlett told WJZ.
"I don't know where he is, he don't even call me but I've been trying to call him. He texted me one time to say that he's OK."
After seeing his face on a TV news report she said: "I screamed. I cried. I can't understand what happened...that he would do something like that.
"I am so sorry that this happened to her, and if my son did it, I really apologize because I don't know what happened to make him do that."
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Billingsley likely committed a knifepoint sexual assault and arson attack just days before LaPere's murder that left two people critically injured and fighting for their lives, the DailyMail.com reported.
Billingsley has a violent past. He was convicted of a "violent" crime in 2011 and received a 30-year sentence.
However, Billingsley was released just seven years later on "good-time credits," as reported by the Baltimore Banner. The release was facilitated by then-District Attorney Marilyn Mosby, who was supported by billionaire Democratic donor George Soros.
He was also arrested in 2009 and 2013 on charges linked to sex offenses, assault, and robbery, as confirmed by the police. Ultimately, he was convicted of sex offenses in the year 2015.
Billingsley was released on parole in October 2022, and it remains unclear whether he violated the terms of his parole. Described as a "repeat violent offender," the suspect is also wanted in connection to a separate case.
LaPere, who was named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, lived in the former Congress Hotel, now transformed into apartments. According to the building's management company Zahlco, one-bedroom apartments in this residence are priced at approximately $1,500 per month.
LaPere started her eco company while in her dorm room at Johns Hopkins University. The primary goal of her company is to provide accessible ecosystems information to all, using "powerful technology to digitize ecosystems," as stated on the company's website.
Following her tragic passing, the company released a statement extending condolences and expressing deep distress at the loss.
"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 in a statement, according to CBS News Baltimore.