A young British man has been found dead in the snow at a French ski resort after he was last seen drinking in a popular bar.

The body of Owen Lewis, 22, was spotted by helicopter a few hundred metres from his holiday apartment in the small resort of Risoul in the French Alps last Friday (5 January).

Lewis, from Coventry, was last seen drinking in the village's packed Yeti Cave bar in the early hours of Tuesday (3 Janury) before leaving for his flat. Friends were travelling to join him later that day.

Public prosecutor Raphaël Balland said that the young man was found near a mountain stream. He added footprints suggested he had become lost and then froze in the cold night weather.

Balland said: "In view of the first elements, including footprints found in the snow to the place of discovery of the body, the investigators . . . believe that the man is probably dead from cold after getting lost."

The prosecutor added: "His identity is certain because of his physical appearance, his clothes and the identity papers found on him."

Friends of Lewis had put up posters of the young man around the resort last week urging people who had seen him to contact the police. The alarm was raised after he did not return to his apartment the following morning. Pals also took to Twitter to appeal for help.

Owen was a fluent French speaker and worked as a school supervisor in Neuvic, in the Correze department, after moving to France from the UK to join his parents.

He had studied mechanical engineering at college in France, and was a keen snowboarder and mountain biker.

Risoul, a popular resort with British holidaymakers, is a 1850m high in the eastern Hautes-Alpes department of south east France.