Julian Sands: what have California police said about missing actor, has he died, where is he - latest news

The actor has been missing in the hills of California for more than five weeks

Julian Sands, who has been reported as missing in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California (Photo: PA Media)Julian Sands, who has been reported as missing in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California (Photo: PA Media)
Julian Sands, who has been reported as missing in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California (Photo: PA Media)

Police have promised to "bring closure" to Julian Sands’ family after more ground searches over the weekend yielded no results.

After failing to return from a hike, the British actor was originally reported missing in the Mount Baldy region of the San Gabriel mountains in California more than five weeks ago on 13 January.

Several ground and air searches have already been conducted, with state and federal agencies utilising specialised technology - such as a Recco device, which is able to detect electronics and credit cards - to help identify a more precise location on which to concentrate their efforts. Infrared devices have also been used by authorities previously, but to no effect.

But the San Bernardino sheriff’s department has said an imminent storm in the region means that search efforts would now be delayed “for some time”. The sheriff’s department previously said it remained “hopeful” of finding the actor, but admitted that the outcome of the searches may now “not be what we would like”.

Sands is best known for his starring roles in films such as Warlock, Room With A View and Leaving Las Vegas. On television he found fame with parts in Smallville and 24. Here is everything you need to know.

What have the police said?

A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said that ground searches – which had been recently hampered by poor conditions on the mountain – had taken place on Saturday.

“On February 18, over 20 members of the Fontana Sheriff’s Station and the West Valley Search and Rescue team conducted a ground search in the Mt Baldy area,” the spokesperson said. “The crew members focused on the area where the California Highway Patrol’s Recco device hit on a possible electronic device on January 25.

“Unfortunately, nothing was found that would lead to the discovery of Mr Sands. With the imminent storm approaching, ground searches for Mr Sands will be delayed for some time. Our goal is to bring closure to the family of Mr Sands and when we can, we will try this again.”

What have friends and family said?

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.

“Our heartfelt thanks to the compassionate members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who are coordinating the search for our beloved Julian, not least the heroic search teams…who are braving difficult conditions on the ground and in the air to bring Julian home,” the statement read. “We are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support.”

Three weeks ago, Sands’ hiking partner and friend Kevin Ryan said it was obvious “something has gone wrong”, but that the actor’s advanced experience and skill would “hopefully” see his safe return. The fellow actor said Sands is “the most advanced hiker I know” and would not go on a hike unprepared.

“Julian is such an advanced hiker,” he added. “It’s what he did. His whole life he was climbing mountains. It was a true passion of his. He is beyond experienced and I’m hoping that he’s tucked away somewhere and can pull through.”