THE family of a murdered tech CEO have criticized the “senseless violence” committed by their loved one as police urgently search for her suspected killer.
Pava Marie LaPere, 26, was found beaten to death in her luxury apartment in Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday.
Police have now named Baltimore resident Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, as LaPere’s suspected murderer.
Police issued an arrest warrant for the “armed and dangerous” suspect, warning that he would “rape” and “kill” if he was not caught.
LaPere’s family has expressed grief over her death as local, state and federal officials search for Billingsley.
“Pava was an inspiration to so many people,” her father wrote.
“She was motivated, creative, hardworking and tireless in her efforts, along with her wonderful team at EcoMap Technologies.
“Pava made an impact in every endeavor she undertook and every life she touched. We will forever miss her as a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, cousin and loyal friend.”
Another relative of LaPere railed against her killer in a scathing post.
“Our family was affected by a senseless act of violence that took the life of our beautiful, successful and extremely intelligent Pava,” said Ashley Freeman.
“You think it will never be your family, your friend or even your co-worker.
“The harsh reality is that we live in a terribly sick world where some people’s only goal is to harm the innocent lives of others.”
LaPere was CEO and founder of EcoMap Technologies, a company that created data maps that help customers better understand what is happening in various social and business ecosystems.
The tech mogul founded the company at age 22 in her dorm room at Johns Hopkins University.
“She was on her way to changing the world, but someone took that away from her,” Freeman said.
She asked the public to pray for LaPere’s parents Frank and Caroline, her brother Nico and the rest of the family.
Another person close to LaPere paid tribute to the beloved CEO.
“I was really looking forward to seeing you and the team today,” Kham wrote.
“I was ready to hear your brilliant ideas and experience the energy you bring to every shoot. There’s so much in this world that I don’t understand. Her legacy lives on forever.”
And LaPere’s company acknowledged this, writing in part: “The news has shocked us all to our core.”
“In the coming days, we will keep our community updated on how we will honor Pava’s enduring legacy. For now, we hope you will join us in keeping her family and loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Supportive comments poured in in subsequent posts about LaPere.
“What a senseless act,” one person said.
“I’m so sorry to read this. She has done so much for her community and the world!”
“I hope everyone who was a part of her life can find peace soon.”
EcoMap will hold a vigil honoring LaPere on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m., the company announced.
The event will take place in the souththe Washington Monument in Baltimore.
“Let us come together to share stories, memories and heartfelt tributes and find comfort in the knowledge that her spirit will continue to guide us in the work we carry forward,” the Instagram post read.
“Pava’s visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to driving inclusion, strengthening ecosystems and strengthening Baltimore’s tech community distinguish her as an exceptional leader.
“Their boundless passion for EcoMap’s mission has been the foundation for our success.”
The company’s offices are in the same building in downtown Baltimore where LaPere was murdered.
It comes after police issued a dire warning in their search for Billingsley.
Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley urged the public to call 911 if they saw him, saying, “He will do everything he can to cause harm.”
Worley also shared a chilling warning.
“If you’re out there watching – hopefully – every single police officer in Baltimore City, in the state of Maryland, and the U.S. Marshals are looking for you,” the commissioner said.
“We will find you, so I would ask you to turn yourself in to any officer and any police station.”
“Because at some point we will take you into custody and then hand it over to the prosecutor who will prosecute you fully. So please turn yourself in.”
BACKGROUND OF THE SUSPECT
Billingsley has a lengthy criminal record that includes a 2015 conviction for a first-degree sexual offense by force/threat.
He was released from prison last year.
The suspect was previously arrested in 2009, 2011 and 2013 for crimes including sex offenses, second-degree assault and robbery.
“There is no way he should have been outside,” Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said Tuesday.
“We are tired of talking about the same people committing the same crimes over and over again.”
Police have not yet said what led them to identify Billingsley as the suspect in LaPere’s murder.