Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque City, Philippines. Photo: Google Maps

A Filipino man was arrested for allegedly stealing a gold-plated urn that contained the ashes of a woman, also Filipino, who died around 15 years ago in the US.

At 9pm on March 9, Dionesia Layson, 30, a caretaker at the Manila Memorial Park, was arrested by in Parañaque City, Metro Manila, GMA News reported.

Layson said the urn was empty when he sold it to a junk shop in Las Piñas, in the National Capital Region. He claimed that two companions had told him to sell the urn, which had been stolen from a mausoleum in Manila Memorial Park.

Rodolfo Cruz, the father of the deceased, said his daughter had been reported missing in 2003, and the following year, she was found dead inside a suitcase that was buried in an abandoned house in New Jersey.

Philippine police are conducting an investigation of the two other suspects and the owner of the junk shop where the urn was sold.