Human remains found Saturday in a Southern California forest have been identified as those of British actor Julian Sands, who had been missing since hiking in the area in January, officials said Tuesday.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that the remains had been “positively identified” as those of Mr Sands, and that the investigation into the cause of death would continue “pending the results of further tests”.
Mr Sands, 65, of North Hollywood, was an avid traveler and was best known for his role in the critically acclaimed 1986 film “A Room with a View”. The film, an adaptation of EM Forster’s novel, is regularly listed as one of the best British films of all time.
He also appeared in dozens of other films and television shows, including “Arachnophobia,” “Naked Lunch,” “Warlock” and “Ocean’s Thirteen.”
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said hikers found the remains Saturday morning in the Mount Baldy area, which is 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
Mr Sands, who had a wife and three children, was reported missing in January while hiking alone on Mount Baldy. On hiking websites, the popular trek is described as challenging and difficult.
Despite their efforts being complicated by dangerous conditions including heavy rain and snowfall, search teams had been combing the area for months, some lasting as far as June, in search of Mr Sands.
In an update on the search on June 17, the sheriff’s department said parts of the mountain were still inaccessible due to “extreme alpine conditions”, including steep terrain and ravines covered with more than 10 feet of snow and ice .
More than 80 search-and-rescue volunteers, delegates and staff members participated in the search that day. The sheriff’s department said two helicopter and drone crews were used to investigate areas inaccessible to searchers on the ground.
Officials said the sheriff’s department has searched for Mr Sands eight times since January, with volunteers searching for more than 500 hours. In addition, eight other unrelated search and rescue operations were also conducted in the area.
Mr. Sands often talked about his love for nature and said A 2020 interview with The Guardian That he was happiest when he was near the mountain peak in the cool morning.
in another interview the same year with Thrive GlobalA health and wellness company started by Arianna Huffington, he said he has spent time in mountain ranges in North America and Europe.
Mr Sands said those who had not climbed the mountains assumed it was about arrogance and the “great heroic race” to the summit.
“But actually, it’s the other way around,” he said. “When you go to these mountains it is about prayer, sacrifice and humility. It is not a celebration of the self, but an eradication of one’s self-consciousness. And so in these journeys you lose yourself, you become a vessel of energy in harmony, hopefully, with your environment.
Lauren McCarthy Contributed reporting.