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Home's new owners find human skull, bones during landscaping work

Police on Sunday were questioning the former owner of a home in Santa Ana where human remains were found in a backyard, authorities said.

The man was being questioned by Santa Ana police in connection with the discovery at a home in North Hesperian Street, police said.

A human skull and bones were found Sunday afternoon by residents who bought the home less than a year ago and who were doing landscaping work in the backyard, police said.

The Orange County Coroner's Office confirmed the remains were human and an anthropologist was being called in to further examine them, said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, a spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.

The home was burned in 2006, Bertagna said, and the former owner had lived at the location for more than 20 years.

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Longtime neighbor Evy Disner said the home where the remains were found belonged to Larry T. Dominguez. She said the home was burned in an electrical fire in 2006.

Dinser's husband, Renan, rescued Dominguez from the flames in what she described as "pack rat" conditions.

Disner said Dominguez kept to himself but she heard no complaints from neighbors in the tight-knit community.

"He was an extremely nice person, always friendly," Disner said.

She said that Dominguez inherited the home from his father, who she said lived there for a time.

"We don't know if or when his father passed away," Disner said.

Disner said that after the fire Dominguez lost the house due to a lapse in insurance payments. He sold the house to his next-door neighbors, who were the ones doing work on the house on Sunday when they discovered a skeleton, Disner said.