Car found in hunt for missing film star Julian Sands, who disappeared in California mountains six days ago

19 January 2023, 05:40 | Updated: 19 January 2023, 13:01

Julian Sands
Julian Sands. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

A car has been found that rescuers think belongs to British film star Julian Sands, who has been missing for nearly a week on a remote California mountain range amid heavy storms, in the same area where two hikers died in recent weeks.

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Room with a View actor Mr Sands, 65, was reported missing by his family on Friday (January 13) after he did not come back from a hike on the Mount Baldy mountain in the San Gabriel range.

Rescuers found a snow-covered car they think he used to drive to the mountain range, and towed it away last night.

Local police tried to rescue him on Saturday but had to call off the search because of the stormy weather. Officers have not been able to mount another attempt since due to the conditions.

Mr Sands, described by a friend as "an adventurer in everything he did", is in a dangerous place.

Julian Sands
Julian Sands. Picture: Getty
Julian Sands as a younger man
Julian Sands as a younger man. Picture: Getty
Julian Sands
Julian Sands. Picture: Getty

Rescuers are also looking for another missing hiker in another part of the same mountain range. Two more people died on the range in recent weeks, while four others had to be lifted off the mountain by helicopter in mid-December.

The small local search and rescue team has been called out to 14 incidents in the last four weeks alone, the sheriff said.

A spokesperson for the San Bernardino county sheriff’s department said: "On Friday at about 7.30pm, a hiker identified as 65-year-old Julian Sands of North Hollywood, was reported missing in the Baldy Bowl area of Mt. Baldy.

Los Angeles Skyline framed by the San Bernardino Mountains and Mount Baldy
Los Angeles Skyline framed by the San Bernardino Mountains and Mount Baldy. Picture: Getty

"Search and Rescue crews responded and began a search. Due to trail conditions and the risk of avalanche, the ground crews were pulled off the mountain on Saturday evening. 

"However, we continue to search by helicopter and drones when weather permits. We will schedule another ground search when the weather improves, and it is safe for our ground crews."

Friends and former colleagues of Mr Sands took to social media to share their worries about his disappearance, and best wishes.

Producer Cassian Elwes said: "I’ve known since Friday that my friend Julian Sands has been missing on mt baldy. 'I’m devastated. A very close family friend who was an adventurer in everything he did. I’ve said many prayers."

Actor and dancer Melanie Kinnaman added: "Our friend Julian Sands has been missing from a hiking trip in the mountains of Southern California for nearly one week. 

"There is an active search for him in the Mt Baldy area. Please send prayers for his safe return."

The two hikers who died recently were Jarret Choi, who fell off a ridge while hiking on the mountain, and was only found two days later, and Crystal Paula Gonzalez, who plunged 700 feet to her death.

The Sheriff's department warned: "Over the last four weeks, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams have responded to 14 rescue missions on Mt Baldy and in the surrounding area. 

Julian Sands
Julian Sands. Picture: Getty

"These rescue missions have been for lost, stranded and/or injured hikers. Unfortunately, during these past 4 weeks, two hikers did not survive after falling and injuring themselves.

"Please know the current conditions on Mt Baldy are adverse and extremely dangerous. Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous. 

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"Sheriff’s Search and Rescue efforts are often hampered by poor weather along with dangerous avalanche conditions. The recent storms that brought the snow and ice conditions are not favorable for hikers, even those that feel they have a high level of experience."

As well as a Room with a View, Mr Sands is best known for films like The Killing Fields, Warlock and Leaving Las Vegas. He also appeared in the TV shows 24 and Smallville.

Father-of-three Mr Sands has been married twice, including to well-known journalist Sarah Sands in the 1980s. He lives in Los Angeles.

It is unclear why he was hiking on Mount Baldy, and whether or not he is alone.

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