SAANICH, B.C. - Police say remains that were found on southern Vancouver Island during an extensive search for a missing person are human.

Investigators now must determine whether the body is that of 51-year-old Dana McKellar, who was last seen in late August.

Dozens of officers began searching an area in rural Saanich last week for evidence relating to McKellar's disappearance, and uncovered the remains on Thursday.

Police have announced that the B.C. Coroner's Service has confirmed that the body is human and is working on establishing an identity.

Officers say an investigation into McKellar's disappearance found that he was assaulted before he was reported missing in September.

The probe also prompted police to search the Saanich property.