By Dhel Nazario
A man involved in stealing a gold plated urn from a mausoleum at Manila Memorial Park last Tuesday was nabbed in a follow-up operation conducted by the Parañaque City Police on Friday night.
The suspect was identified as Dionisio Layson, 30, a resident of Sampaguita St.,Clinic Ville, Barangay BF Homes in Parañaque City.
The gold plated urn, which contained the remains of Maria Pilar Cruz, the investment banker who went missing back in 2003 and was found dead inside a suitcase in 2004, had been missing since Monday.
There were no signs of forced entry to the mausoleum, and investigators suspected that the suspects may have entered through the window.
According to the police, Rodolfo Cruz Sr. was there to visit the tomb but was surprised when he discovered that the urn was missing. He immediately notified the Memorial Park’s security and the police.
Layson who was arrested on Friday, told police that the gold-plated urn was already empty when his two companions whom he called “Louie” and “Marvin” gave it to him to sell it. Layson was able to sell it at a junk shop in Las Piñas City for P1,900.
Louie also instructed the suspect to fill the urn with ash so that they could claim the reward money from the Cruz family.
Police are now conducting follow-up operations to track “Louie” and “Marvin” and the owner of the junk shop where the urn was brought. Aside from the gold-plated urn the urn also of Maria Pilar Cruz’s mother was also stolen. Fortunately, the family was able to transfer her ashes to a different container before the incident happened.
A distraught Rodolfo Cruz expressed his grief in a television interview earlier after he learned that the urn was missing. According to the 86-year-old father, It’s as if the misfortune that befell them 15 years ago was happening once again.
Maria Pilar Cruz went missing back in 2003 in New York and was found dead inside a large suitcase in 2004 buried at a garage at the suspect’s former home in Newark, New Jersey. Pipie as they called her, died from anesthesia overdose in the hands of a fake dermatologist identified as Dean Faiello.
Faiello fled the country and went to hide at a resort Costa Rica. But the long arm of the law finally caught up with him as he pleaded guilty for first-degree assault where he served a 20-year sentence.