British actor Julian Sands confirmed dead, months after vanishing in California mountains

LOS ANGELES, June 28 (BNA): British-born actor Julian Sands, best known for his role in the Oscar-winning film “A Room with a View,” has been confirmed dead five months after he went missing while he was away. Hiking in the snow-capped mountains of Southern California. He was 65 years old.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said most of the skeletal remains discovered by hikers on June 25, in the immediate area where Sands disappeared, have been positively identified by a San Bernardino County coroner as belonging to the actor.

The administration said in a statement that the manner of his death is still under investigation, pending further examination results.

Sands, an avid outdoorsman and mountaineer, was reported missing on January 13, after he went hiking alone earlier in the day in the Baldy Bowl area in the San Gabriel Mountains, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of Los Angeles, Reuters reported.

The large sloping area below the summit of Mount Baldy is a popular destination for skiers, climbers and trekkers. But authorities then warned that heavy snow from weeks of winter storms had made the area a treacherous area for outdoor recreation. Overnight temperatures were dropping into the mid-20s Fahrenheit (minus 4 to minus 4 Celsius) that week.

The search party organized at the time was withdrawn after 24 hours due to avalanche hazards and poor track conditions. Many subsequent searches have come up empty-handed, including a large sweep conducted days before sand remnants were eventually found in the Mount Baldy wilderness, according to the sheriff’s department.

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Cell phone signals detected Sunday, January 15, indicated that sand was moving toward the Mount Baldy ridge, and that appeared to be the last indication that it was still moving, the Sheriff’s Department reported at the time.

A statement from Sands’ family released by the sheriff’s department on June 21, after the agency’s last search but before his remains were found, thanked the search teams for their efforts and sounded a note of resignation regarding his fate.

“We continue to keep Julian in our hearts with bright memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, love of the natural world and the arts, and an authentic and collaborative performer,” the statement said.

Sands, in a 2020 interview with The Guardian, described himself as being happiest when he was “close to a mountaintop on a cold, glorious morning”. He also recalled dying while climbing the Andes in the early 1990s when he was caught in a storm above 20,000 feet (6,000 m) with three others.

“We were all in very bad shape,” he recounted. “Some men close to us died. We were lucky.”


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