Family thanks California authorities for ‘heroic’ search

Julian Sands has been missing for 11 days

The family of missing British actor Julian Sands has thanked the Californian authorities for their efforts in trying to locate him.

They also said they were “deeply touched” by the “outpouring of love and support” they had received.

Mr. Sands, 65, disappeared on January 13 while hiking in the Baldy Bowl area of ​​the San Gabriel Mountains, north of Los Angeles.

Last week, his car was found next to where he was reported missing.

In the statement – put out on the 11th day since Mr Sands went missing – the family praised the “heroic search teams” who are working through the difficult weather conditions “on the ground and in the air to bring Julian home”.

California has been battered by deadly storms, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s department said it had responded to more than a dozen calls on Mount San Antonio, known locally as Mount Baldy, and in the surrounding area over the last four weeks. It warned hikers to “stay away” from that area.

“It is extremely dangerous and even experienced hikers are getting in trouble,” the department said. Earlier in January, a mother of four whom friends described as an experienced hiker died after sliding more than 500ft (152m) down Mount Baldy.

Last week, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s department told the PA news agency that conditions were still too dangerous for ground crews to operate due to wintry weather, and that searches would be conducted by helicopter only.

Born in Yorkshire, Mr Sands has appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, but it was a leading role in the 1985 British romance A Room With A View that brought him global fame.

He lives in the North Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles with his wife, writer Evgenia Citkowitz. They have two children.

Mr. Sands has talked in the past about his love of hiking and mountain climbing.

When asked in 2020 what made him happy, he replied: “Close to a mountain summit on a glorious cold morning.”

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