John Salangsang/John Salangsang/Invision/AP
Police say they are changing their tactics in the search for actor Julian Sands, who went missing 13 days ago in the San Gabriel Mountains in southern California.
Sands, the 65-year-old star of several Oscar-nominated films, including A room with a view, disappeared on January 1. 13 as she hiked up snow-covered Mount Baldy.
Search and rescue teams began searching for Sands about a mile southwest of the mountain’s peak after cellphone beeps suggested he was on a known trail. But strong winds and avalanche risks have caused pauses in efforts.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that the search will continue “by air only” using RECCO technology, which can detect “reflective material, electronic devices and, in some cases, credit cards.”
UPDATE: The search for Julian Sands continues by air only. The California Highway Patrol – Auburn Valley, California Air Operations Division is currently assisting us in the search using a RECCO RECCO – Be Searchable device. RECCO technology can detect RECCO reflective material,
— San Bernardino County Sheriff (@sbcountysheriff) January 25, 2023
The change in focus came just a day after teams were able to locate another missing hiker. Jin Chung, a 75-year-old Los Angeles man, was found one day after he was reported missing; he suffered leg and weather-related injuries, the police said.
Although only about 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Mt. Baldy is known for its relatively cold and wet winters. Nighttime temperatures in the region have dropped as low as 29 degrees in the last week.
“Exposure to the Elements and Falls Contribute to Mt. Baldy’s Rising Death Rate,” wrote police in a search update earlier this week. Search and rescue teams have conducted 233 missions on Mt. Baldy since 2017, with eight deaths.
A member of the search and rescue team was among those who died on the mountain, prompting former sheriff John McMahon to meet with members of Congress about increasing weather closures in 2019.
Along with the surrounding San Gabriel region, Mt. Baldy is unincorporated, technically falling under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service.
The sheriff of neighboring San Bernardino County implied in a statement that he could not lend more resources to the search for Sands due to “deficits in USFS staffing, resources and funding.”
The office said it was working with lawmakers to try to secure more funding for the USFS to implement a permit process for local hikers and boost nature education.
Representatives for Sands did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for more information.
The English-born actor, who is based in North Hollywood, is best known for starring in the 1985 British romance. A room with a view.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, he played leading roles in movies like Sorcerer, arachnophobia, Leaving Las Vegas, Boxing Helena Y The fields of death.
In recent years, he has continued to appear in dozens of minor TV and film roles, from low-budget fringe favorites to highly acclaimed hits.
When asked in 2020 for The Guardian when he was at his happiest, Sands didn’t talk about acting, but recreating.
“Near the top of a mountain on a gloriously cold morning,” was his reply.