06/03/2015 07:42 EDT | Updated 06/03/2016 05:59 EDT

Dana McKellar, missing B.C. man, focus of huge search on Vancouver Island

Victoria police and the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit are undertaking what they say is "one of the most extensive and detailed searches in the history of Vancouver Island" for a man who disappeared last year.

More than 90 detectives are expected to spend the next several days — or about 6,300 person-hours — combing through a large field and several homes on the 100-block of Goward Road in Saanich, B.C. for any signs of Dana McKellar.

The 51-year-old was last seen near the 500-block of Dallas Road last summer, and was reported missing about three weeks later on Sept. 2, 2014. 

Police say McKellar had been assaulted in the weeks prior to his disappearance, and a search of a property on the 1200-block of Burnside Road West lead them to new evidence on Gowan Road.

"We found some concerning blue barrels. They're like big, oil drum sized blue barrels. They were unlabelled and they had some concerning contents," said Victoria police spokesperson Mike Russell.

"We weren't sure what those were, so we called in the Capital Regional District Hazmat team. We're not sure if they're forming part of our search, but they were in the search area so it's something we'll be looking at."

Anyone with information on McKellar's disappearance is being asked to call the Victoria Police Department's non-emergency line at 250-995-7654. Those wishing to remain anonymous can also contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or ​