Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Baltimore authorities said on Thursday that they believe young tech entrepreneur Pava LePere, who was found dead Monday, may have been killed several days earlier. Police arrested a suspect Wednesday.
Those were the latest revelations coming to a news conference held by the U.S. Marshals Service Thursday morning after the arrest of Jason Billingsley, 32, at a train station in Bowie, Md. He is suspected in the death LePere, who had gained national recognition in the tech world for an app she created.
Authorities said they believe LePere's death was random, which made their search for Billingsley, a convicted felon who had been out of prison on another crime for less than a year, a high priority.
LePere was found on the roof of her apartment complex in Baltimore on Monday. Officials said she may have died on Friday, and the search for her did not start until Sunday after a missing persons report was put out on her.
Acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Richard Worley said SWAT officers arrested Billingsley about 11 p.m., EDT Wednesday without incident at the train station. Law enforcement had been tracking him on his phone, phone calls to others and banking transactions.
Billingsley was wanted on other charges, including assault and reckless endangerment in violation of his supervision, leaving Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott to question why more resources had not been put to bring him in before LePere's death.
"It is very clear that this individual posed a substantial danger, that he had been noncompliant and was clearly violating the terms of his supervision after being released, and that alone should be enough to make sure that we keep him off the streets," Scott said.
"I hope this sends a message to everybody else who likes to commit these kind of cowardly, horrendous acts that we will not tolerate it and we will pull you off the streets of Baltimore."
LaPere, co-founder of the company EcoMap, which earned her a place on Forbes' "30 Under 30" list for social impact, was found dead from blunt-force trauma around 11:34 a.m. EDT Monday after she had been reported missing.
Police identified Billingsley as a suspect and began a search for the registered sex offender who had been released from prison on Oct. 5, 2022, after serving seven years for another crime. Investigators said Billingsley was wanted in connection with an attempted murder, rape, and arson in a Sept. 19 incident.
Police said they are now reviewing all cases since October 2022 to determine if he could be connected to any more crimes.