Police search for man suspected of killing Baltimore tech CEO

(Reuters) - Baltimore police and U.S. marshals continued searching on Wednesday for the man suspected of killing Pava LaPere, a 26-year-old tech executive who was found dead at her apartment building on Monday.

EcoMap Technologies, the company that LaPere cofounded, announced it would hold a vigil in her honor at Baltimore's Washington Monument on Wednesday evening.

Baltimore acting Police Commissioner Richard Worley on Tuesday said that an arrest warrant had been issued for Jason Billingsley, 32, of Baltimore, for first-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment and other unspecified charges.

"We implore residents to be aware of your surroundings at all times. This individual will kill and he will rape," said Worley at a news conference on Tuesday. He said Billingsley was a repeat violent offender believed to be "armed and dangerous."

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott described LaPere as a "very young, talented, devoted Baltimorean" at the news conference, saying he had gotten to know her over the years.

LaPere was celebrated on social media and in local news reports for her entrepreneurial success, which landed her a spot on the 2023 Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, and for promoting racial diversity and an inclusive workplace culture at EcoMap Technologies, where she served as CEO.

"While I'm proud of our tech and rapid growth, I'm more proud of our 50% female, 50% [people of color] team located in the heart of Baltimore, MD," she wrote on LinkedIn in her description of the company.

"Pava's visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to fostering inclusivity, amplifying ecosystems, and fortifying Baltimore's tech community set her apart as an exceptional leader," the company said in a statement.

LaPere was a college student at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University when she cofounded EcoMap, a service for creating digital platforms that contain information about the resources, organizations, businesses, and people within any given community.

(Reporting by Julia Harte; Editing by Leslie Adler)