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Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere murder suspect Jason Billingsley tied to West Baltimore arson, police say

Community vigil held in Mount Vernon for Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere
Community vigil held in Mount Vernon for Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere 03:03

BALTIMORE -- Police confirm that the suspect in the murder of Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere is also the prime suspect connected to an arson investigation in West Baltimore.

Police said on Tuesday that 32-year-old Jason Billingsley is wanted for first-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment, and additional charges in LaPere's death.

A $6,000 reward is being offered in the manhunt. 

There is a separate and ongoing investigation into an arson at a three-story house on Sept. 19 in the 800 block of Edmondson Avenue where a man and a woman were critically injured. A 5-year-old child was found on a different floor of the house and taken to a hospital, too, fire officials said.

In a news conference Tuesday about the LaPere case, police said Billingsley is considered "armed and dangerous."

"We implore residents to be aware of your surroundings at all times," Acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley said. "This individual will kill and he will rape. He will do anything he can to cause harm."

WATCH: Police announce arrest warrant in murder of Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere by WJZ on YouTube

LaPere was found dead with signs of blunt force trauma at a Mount Vernon apartment building Monday morning, according to police.   

Related: 26-year-old tech CEO Pava LaPere found dead at Baltimore apartment building; homicide investigation underway

Baltimore Police announced Tuesday that Jason Dean Billingsley, 32, from Baltimore, is the suspect in the killing of Baltimore tech CEO Pava LaPere. Police said Billingsley is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone who recognizes him or comes into contact with him should call 911.

WJZ confirmed Tuesday that LaPere co-founded and leads EcoMap, a company that says it digitizes ecosystems with its proprietary technology.

Adult court records reveal that at 18-years-old Billingsley pleaded guilty to first-degree assault in 2009.

He was ultimately given two years of supervised probation but violated the terms and was convicted in a second-degree assault case in 2011, where he served a two-year prison sentence. 

After being released, mere months later in 2013, Billingsley was convicted of a rape attempt. 

A judge handed down a 30-year sentence with an expected 2043 release date, however, 16 years of the sentence was suspended, and he was given five years of supervised probation. 

Billingsley was paroled in October 2022, according to State's Attorney Ivan Bates. 

"The state's attorney goes out and does their work, gets the conviction. The conviction should be the conviction," said Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott. "We have to make sure that folks are held accountable in every single way because we are tired of talking about the same people, committing the same kind of crimes over and over and over again." 

LaPere's death sent shockwaves throughout the community

 "It's terrifying to think that this person is still out there," Jade Hewitt said.

Investigators have remained tight-lipped about the investigation but said the apartment building LaPere was in was secure, so someone would've had to let Billingsley inside to commit the crime. 

"If you're out there watching, and hopefully you are, every single police officer in Baltimore City, the state of Maryland, as well as the U.S. Marshals, are looking for you," Worley said. "We will find you."

If you have information that could help detectives in this case, contact the department at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. 

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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