Julian Sands, a British actor who has starred in several Oscar-nominated films and TV shows, has been confirmed missing for almost a week now after he went hiking in the "extremely dangerous" Southern Californian mountains, according to police. This comes as two hikers were found dead in recent weeks in the same region, police revealed.
Sands, 65, was last seen hiking in the Mount Baldy region last week, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department told ABC 7. According to officials, a search operation has been launched but it has been challenging because of the bad weather on the 10,000-foot peak, and air resources have been "limited" over the weekend.
Missing in Dangerous Terrain
Sands went missing during a hike in the Mount Baldy region of California's San Gabriel Mountains, where two hikers have died recently. His family reported him missing at around 7.30 p.m. on Friday.
"His wife did report him missing," Gloria Huerta, the public information officer for the sheriff's department, told the ABC affiliate. "From what I understand, he left sometime that day for a hike and when he did not return, his family reported him missing."
A storm forced officers to halt their ground search for the star on Saturday, and it has not been safe enough to resume since.
Additionally, a second search is being conducted in the mountain range's Crystal Lake region for another hiker, California citizen Bob Gregory.
"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," Huerta said.
"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."
Family and Friends Concerned
Starting his career in the 1980s, Sands is known for performing in such films as "Arachnophobia," "A Room with a View," "Warlock" and "Leaving Las Vegas."
Sands, who also played in the supernatural thriller "Warlock", has anxious friends and former coworkers who have flocked to social media to express their condolences while the hunt goes on.
"I've known since Friday that my friend Julian Sands has been missing on mt baldy," said film producer Cassian Elwes, the brother of Robin Hood actor Cary.
"I'm devastated. A very close family friend who was an adventurer in everything he did. I've said many prayers."
Brian Lynch, a screenwriter who is credited for the likes of Minions and The Secret Life of Pets, said, "Oh no! Julian Sands is fantastic! I hope he is found ASAP."
Melanie Kinnaman, an American actress and dancer, 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."
However, the search operation is not going to be easy due to the forecast for inclement weather. The sheriff's department has cautioned that "severe weather on the mountain has been difficult and air resources are limited, while its search and rescue team has called out to 14 situations in the previous four weeks alone.
The department advised hikers to use caution when using the routes because of the "extremely dangerous" weather.
It is unclear why Sands was in the area and if he had been hiking alone or if there was someone else along with him.
Sands lives in Los Angeles and was born on January 4, 1958, in West Yorkshire.
Starting his career in the 1980s, Sands is known for performing in such films as "Arachnophobia," "A Room with a View," "Warlock" and "Leaving Las Vegas." He also appeared on "24" in 2006 and on Season 8 of "Dexter" in 2013.
He has been married twice and has three daughters. His first marriage, which lasted from 1984 to 1987, was to writer Sarah Sands, who later edited the Sunday Telegraph, the London Evening Standard, and the important Today program on BBC Radio 4. The couple have a son, born.
In addition, the actor has two daughters from his 1990 marriage to writer Evgenia Citkowitz.