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Louis-Vincent Lessard and Étienne Lemieux: New Zealand police retrace steps of missing Quebecers

07/26/2015 09:42 EDT | Updated 07/26/2016 05:59 EDT
Searchers in New Zealand looking for Étienne Lemieux and Louis-Vincent Lessard — two young Quebecers missing near the Kepler Track — have found a body in a field of avalanche debris.

According to Scott Yeoman, a journalist at the New Zealand Herald, police found the body of a male during an aerial search of the Fiordland National Park on Sunday.

The identity of the man found has yet to be confirmed. However, police are continuing their search to look for other bodies.

On Saturday, New Zealand police said Lemieux and Lessard — both 23 — were last seen July 6 at their hostel, the Base Backpacking Hostel in Queenstown.

They had checked in the night before and had booked just one night in the hostel.

Harsh weather on Kepler Track

The pair had bought bus tickets to Lake Te Anau scheduled to depart on July 6. Larsen said witnesses told police the two young men had talked about plans to trek the Kepler Track, which she said is usually about a four-day walk through the mountains.

Lemieux and Lessard are not confirmed to have gone ahead with those travel plans. If they did, they would have been met with snow and other harsh weather. 

Larsen said most trails in New Zealand are self-guided. 

The two young men had travelled to New Zealand on an outdoor adventure trip.

Their family reported them missing after they did not return on their scheduled flight to Montreal earlier this week.

Larsen said one of the men's father said it was out of character for his son not to be in contact.

Lemieux is described as five feet 10 inches, weighing 185 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Lessard is five feet 10 inches, 175 pounds, and has brown hair and blue eyes.

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