Ryan Daley’s sister has confirmed the remains found near Ucluelet were her brother Ryan and his friend Dan Archbald. (Photo - RCMP)

UPDATED: Police confirm identities of remains found near Ucluelet, homicide suspected

“Investigators are treating this as a homicide and not a random incident.”

Police have confirmed that the human remains found near Ucluelet this month were those of Ryan Daley and Dan Archbald.

Ryan Daley’s sister Lauren Glynn told the Westerly News that the mens’ families were informed Thursday night. The Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit released a statement Friday confirming the identities.

“VIIMCU continues to investigate the circumstances around their disappearance and deaths however investigators are treating this as a homicide and not a random incident,” read a statement from the B.C. RCMP.

Inspector Dave Hall is the officer in charge of the Major Crime Unit and said the identification was an important step in the investigation.

“We can now focus our attention on answering the who, what, when, where and why, in an effort to determine who is responsible for their deaths,” Hall said.

Daley and Archbald were reported missing on May 27 after their family and friends had not heard from them for several weeks. They were last seen leaving the dock at Ucluelet’s inner boat basin on-foot on May 16. They had arrived in Ucluelet on May 13 after a roughly eight-week sailing trip from Panama.

The remains were discovered by Ucluelet local and Westcoast Inland Search and Rescue member Reanne Hamel and her trained search dog Splash while on a walk near Ucluelet sometime between June 11-15.

“I am incredibly humbled that the training we did could come together and help bring these families some closure,” Hamel told the Westerly News.

Police have not released the specific location or date of the discovery and say they are being cautious with information.

“The very nature of criminal investigations, and any resulting prosecutions, requires that the investigation not be conducted in the public arena,” the RCMP’s statement reads. “Dedicated investigators are actively following up on both investigations and will share details when they are able.”

Hall also cautioned those interested in the investigation to refrain from posting, or believing, rumours being spread online, suggesting that, “the widespread use of social media and the internet as sources of information risks drawing linkages that do not exist, or spreading false information that becomes increasingly difficult for police to untangle in their investigation.”

Another man, Ben Kilmer, went missing around the same time as Archbald and Daley were last seen, but police say no connections have been found between the cases. Kilmer’s vehicle was found abandoned in the Cowichan Valley, west of Duncan, on May 16.

“The police investigations in both of these cases are active and ongoing. Investigators are in contact with the families of all three men and working to determine what has happened to them. In order to be successful, the police rely on the co-operation of family, friends and associates who may have information about the circumstances leading to the disappearances,” the RCMP’s statement reads.

Archbald had two young children and a GoFundMe page to support his family was launched on June 3 while the search effort was ongoing.

“Dan’s wife, Leah (our beloved friend), has been the primary caregiver for their two little girls, Josie and Olive, while Dan has worked to support his family,” the page states. “Without Dan, there is no income to pay rent and support the girls. One can only imagine what Leah her young daughters are going through right now – not knowing where their daddy is and when/if he’s coming home. Nobody can prepare for this.”

The page had raised $22,351 of its $30,000 goal at 7 p.m. on June 28.

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