Los Angeles (AFP) – Mountain rescuers in California who have been searching for Julian Sands for almost two weeks say there is still no sign of the British actor, as the missing man’s family acknowledged he may have perished.
Sands, who shot to fame in 1985 as Helena Bonham Carter’s love interest in “Room with a View,” disappeared on the 10,000-foot (3,000-meter) Mount San Antonio, just outside of Los Angeles.
Deputies from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department began searching for him after the alarm was raised on January 13, but on Tuesday said they were no closer to finding him.
“The Sheriff’s Department is closing in on the second full week of the search for missing hiker, Julian Sands,” a statement said.
“Numerous ground and air search efforts have taken place. As of this time, Mr. Sands has not been found and no evidence of his current location has been discovered.”
The statement added that “the search will continue, weather and ground conditions permitting.”
California was hit by a succession of heavy storms in late December and early January that brought heavy snow to mountain ranges, including to Mount San Antonio, known locally as Mount Baldy.
The actor’s brother, Nick, said he had now accepted that Sands would not be found.
“He has not yet been declared missing, presumed dead, but I know in my heart that he has gone,” he said, according to English newspaper Craven Herald and Pioneer, in Yorkshire where the brothers grew up.
‘Steep terrain, unpredictable weather’
“When in LA, the Mount Baldy mountain range was his favourite place, he would go there as often as he could,” the brother added.
“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.”
Nick Sands said the “Warlock” star had been due to be back in Britain next week.
The peak where Sands disappeared is the highest in the San Gabriel mountains and a popular destination for Los Angeles residents.
But San Bernardino County Sheriff said it was increasingly treacherous, with eight known deaths between 2017 and 2022.
“Many hikers, experienced or novice, underestimate the steep terrain, unpredictable weather, and high winds that present themselves in our mountain areas,” it said.
Sands, 65, is an experienced hiker who has previously described himself as happiest “close to a mountain summit on a glorious cold morning.”
In the early 1990s he hiked through the Andes mountain range, getting caught in a storm above 20,000 feet.
Sands moved to Los Angeles after his breakout role as the plain-speaking George Emerson in “Room with a View,” the 1985 adaptation of EM Forster’s novel.
Over his varied career, he appeared in films as diverse as Frank Marshall’s 1990 spider-themed horror romp “Arachnophobia,” David Cronenberg’s controversial “Naked Lunch” and alcohol-soaked 1995 drama “Leaving Las Vegas,” directed by Mike Figgis and starring Nicolas Cage.