Police can now confirm that the two bodies found in the Kepler Track area are those of 23 year-old French Canadians, Louis-Vincent Lessard and Etienne Lemieux. A post-mortem was completed this morning.
Southern District Police continue to work with the Canadian consular services here in New Zealand and authorities in Montreal, and will now work towards repatriating Louis-Vincent and Etienne back to Canada as soon as possible.
The families of both Louis-Vincent and Etienne have also released the following statements:
“The Lemieux Family would like to thank the New Zealand Police and Montreal Police Service for their diligence, effort and support during this difficult time, as well as all the people involved in the search and rescue effort.
"We would also like to thank everyone who transmitted messages of encouragement as well as information to help advance the search effort. We want people to know that Etienne was a remarkable young man who went to New Zealand and fulfilled his dream.”
"The Goyette-Lessard family is extremely grateful in the way the search was conducted and wish to thank everyone both near and far for the efforts they made during these operations.
"A very special thank you to Detective Lisa Watt of the New Zealand Police and Detective Debrah Dunlop of the Montreal Police Service for their exceptional work. Thank you for all your efforts.”