Julian Sands: Search for missing actor resumes five months he disappeared in California mountains

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Search efforts for British actor Julian Sands have resumed five months after he went missing during a hike in the California, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department said Monday (19 June).

Sands, best known for his breakout film A Room With a View (1985), was reported missing in the Mount Baldy area of the San Gabriel mountains on 13 January of this year.

Efforts to find the 65-year-old slowed around mid-February, after rescue teams were repeatedly hampered by adverse weather conditions.

However, the sheriff’s department said in a new release: “On Saturday, June 17, 2023, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department continued ongoing search efforts in the Mount Baldy wilderness for missing hiker Julian Sands. Unfortunately, Mr Sands was not located.”

Over 80 volunteers, deputies, and staff contributed to the search, it added, including the support of two helicopters and drone crews.

Despite warmer climes, “portions of the mountain remain inaccessible due to extreme alpine conditions,” the release said.

“Multiple areas include steep terrain and ravines, which still have 10-plus feet of ice and snow.”

Julian Sands (Getty Images)
Julian Sands (Getty Images)

Since Sands’s disappearance, the sheriff’s department has conducted eight searches and expended more than 500 hours of combined search time.

The release concluded by saying that the missing person case for Sands remains open and that search efforts will continue in a “limited capacity”.

The actor’s family previously praised the “heroic” efforts of Californian authorities involved in the searches, and were “deeply touched” by the support they had received.

Back in February, the sheriff’s department vowed to “bring closure” to Sands’ family.

Sands was known as an avid and experienced hiker. Fellow actor Kevin Ryan told The Independent that Sands was “the most advanced hiker I know” and would not go on a hike unprepared.

His phone last pinged on 15 January, suggesting that the device had died a short time later.

The downtown Los Angeles skyline with Mt Baldy and San Gabriel Mountains behind (Getty)
The downtown Los Angeles skyline with Mt Baldy and San Gabriel Mountains behind (Getty)

His brother, Nick Sands, told the Craven Herald in late January: “He has not yet been declared missing, presumed dead, but I know in my heart that he has gone.”

Julian, who is the middle of five brothers, returned to England three times a year and had been due to visit his hometown of Craven, on 30 January, Nick said.

“Julian liked to say ‘I have never had a holiday but I do rest occasionally’ – well he’s resting now in a place he would truly approve of,” he added.

Anyone with additional information about Sands is asked to call Detective B Meelker on +1 (909) 356-6710.