07/26/2015 11:49 EDT | Updated 07/26/2016 01:12 EDT

Body discovered near where two Canadians went missing in New Zealand July 6

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand — Police in New Zealand announced Sunday that the body of an unidentified man has been found in the area where two young Canadian tourists went missing July 6.

A police detective in Queenstown — where Etienne Lemieux and Louis-Vincent Lessard were last seen — confirmed in an email to the Canadian Press on Sunday morning that helicopters found a body overnight on the Kepler track in the Fiordland National Park.

Detective Lisa Watt said it appeared the man was swept away by an avalanche.

Lemieux and Lessard, both 23 years old, were last seen July 6 in Queenstown. The two friends were supposed to return home to Montreal on Friday morning. Their relatives alerted authorities when the pair did not land as scheduled.

Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman Francois Lasalle told The Canadian Press on Saturday night that Canadian authorities have been advised of the pair's disappearance.  Canadian consular officials in New Zealand have been in contact with local authorities.

Authorities in New Zealand have been unable to retrieve the unidentified body due to unfavourable weather conditions. The search will resume at the New Zealand sunrise.

The families have been advised of the discovery.


The Canadian Press