Search for Julian Sands continues by air only, sheriff’s office says
Helicopters continue to search the San Gabriel Mountains in California for missing actor Julian Sands, but fresh ground searches in higher areas are not possible due to the poor conditions, authorities say.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released an update on Wednesday evening US time to say the search would continue by air only as the search for Sands neared its second week.
The California Highway Patrol’s Valley Division Air Ops has been brought in to assist the search using a device that can detect reflective material and in some cases, credit cards, the sheriff’s office said.
The sheriff’s office said it was hopeful that it can “pinpoint an area where we can focus our search efforts”.
Sands was reported missing on 13 January while hiking on Mt Baldy, about 40 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Search and rescue teams from the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office launched a rescue operation in an area around the San Gabriel Mountains.
Sands’ cellphone pinged on two days later on 15 January, suggesting that his phone died a short time later.
Weather conditions in the area, which has been struck by a fierce winter storm and high winds, had complicated the search effort, and the risk of avalanche forced the ground search to be suspended on 20 January, authorities said.
Despite numerous ground and air searches, the missing actor’s location is yet to be identified.
On Monday, Sands’ family praised the “heroic” efforts of Californian authorities conducting the search efforts.
In a statement shared by the sheriff’s department, family said they were “deeply touched” by the support they had received in the days since his disappearance.