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RCMP hope to identify the owner of a backpack that is somehow connected to the murder of Metchosin man Martin Payne. (Handout)

Vancouver Island homicide investigators have identified "persons of interest" in the murder of a Metchosin man last month.

The Vancouver Island Major Crime Unit said there is no reason to believe the public is at risk in the murder of 60-year-old Martin Payne, whose body was found in his Brookview Drive home on July 12.

Payne's family says he died on July 8.

Investigators previously deemed Payne's death a homicide and said he met with foul play, but Wednesday's news release was the first to suggest there may be more than one person sought in connection with his death.

"We cannot discuss Mr. Payne’s murder in detail as this is an active investigation. The investigative team continues to work hard at gathering evidence to support charges against those responsible for his homicide," said Staff-Sgt. Raj Sandhu of the West Shore RCMP.

Police are also looking for the owner of a blue backpack that was recovered on July 9. It's unclear how the backpack is connected to the murder investigation.

It is a navy blue backpack embroidered with the words "Journeys by Jerry Van Dyke, Canadian Owner and Operated Since 1980."

A key is seen attached to the backpack with a pink tag that reads "#15." The partial word "heaven" is seen on what appears to be a book in the backpack.

Anyone with information on Payne's murder or who knows the owner of the backpack is asked to call VIIMCU at 250-380-6211.