Police: Unknown if Orange County man meant to blow himself up

Fatal House Explosion

Jae C. Hong/AP

A bomb disposal vehicle is seen in front of a home where a man died in a Sunday night blast, in Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2013. A man was blown up in his California home and at least 16 neighbors were evacuated as authorities found and destroyed other explosive devices, police said Monday.

Costa Mesa police say they'll never know if a man meant to kill himself when a homemade bomb detonated in his house.

The Los Angeles Times reports that after searching his home, authorities can't determine whether 52-year-old Kevin Harris was committing suicide or died by accident.

A rambling 17,000-word essay was found online, believed to be penned by Harris, expressing a deep fear of government.

Neighbors described Harris as an odd but harmless eccentric whose house was wrapped in aluminum foil.

His mother told the Times he had been diagnosed with a mental illness, possibly schizophrenia.

On Sunday, Harris was seen lying in his front yard, but refused medical attention when paramedics responded.

An explosion rattled the neighborhood a short time later, and he was found dead.

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