Homicide investigation opened after remains of Richard Young found near Malahat Drive

The discovery of a missing man's remains near a highway stop north of Victoria last week has turned into a homicide investigation, RCMP have revealed.

The remains were discovered near a rest stop along the Malahat Drive section of Highway 1 on March 3.

Police have now identified the victim as 72-year-old Richard Blair Young of Victoria, who was was reported missing in mid-February.

"The death of Mr. Young is tragic and our thoughts are with his family. We are asking those individuals who have information about his death to come forward." said RCMP Cpl. Tammy Douglas in a statement.

The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit is assisting with the investigating.

Police did not say why homicide is now suspected in the case, but did say there nothing to suggest that the public is at risk.