Fifty-one-year-old Dana McKellar was last seen in late August 2014 and was reported missing by his family in September.
Const. Mike Russell of the Victoria Police Department says an investigation revealed that McKellar was assaulted about a month before he disappeared.
Russell says the RCMP and police from Victoria and Saanich have spent three days searching a property near Prospect Lake and they will remain there until early next week.
He says there's no information to suggest the lake should be searched but officers are on the ground and in the air looking for human remains.
Russell says a stolen piece of excavation equipment has been recovered on the site but it's not yet known if it played any role in the case.