Helicopter search for missing British actor Julian Sands: Airborne rescue crews scour the Californian mountains – as pings from his mobile suggest he has moved deeper into the wilderness
- Helicopter searches continue as ground crews call off searches for Julian Sands
- Avalanche risk slows progress as federal and state agencies drawn into search
- Follows previous reports of phone signals detected heading towards Mt Baldy
The search for British actor Julian Sands, who went missing on a hiking trip last Friday, is continuing by helicopter as authorities track Sands’ phone pings towards Mount Baldy in southern California.
Federal and state agencies in the United States said yesterday they would join the search amid worsening weather conditions and avalanche risks which have halted the work of ground crews.
Phone signals two days after the Room with a View actor, 65, was reported missing showed Sands around one of the trails leading to the summit of Mount Baldy in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California, police revealed.
Mr Sands was reported missing at around 7:30pm on Friday 13 January after failing to come back from a hike on Mount Baldy.
Julian Sands is pictured sitting on a peak of the Weisshorn mountain in the Swiss Alps
Sands, 65, was reported missing by his family after disappearing in the dangerous mountain range. He is pictured in a recent image released by his family to police to aid the search
The county sheriff’s department revealed that pings from the actor’s phone appeared to show he had been on the move heading further into the mountainous area of Baldy Bowl on the day he was reported missing, Friday 13 January .
Police also retrieved important phone data, showing that the West Yorkshire-born actor was still on the move on Sunday 15 January – but they have not been able to pick up any signal since due to his battery running low.
Last Thursday, Julian’s family towed his car from a car park where it was discovered during the search.
Ground and air searchers have so far been unable to locate any evidence to support with the investigation.
Adverse weather conditions also saw ground crews pulled off the mountain last Saturday evening.
The San Bernardino county sheriff’s department confirmed yesterday the current search is being conducted by helicopter only due to the risk of avalanche in the region.
Authorities have given ‘no time set’ for when ground searches will resume.
But department spokesperson Gloria Huerta added there was no timeline for ending the search at present, either.
Actor Julian Sands was reported missing on 13 January after failing to return from a hiking trip
The region is home to some of the most popular trails in Los Angeles, California
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department previously warned hikers to ‘think twice and heed warnings’ as weather conditions in the area worsened.
The department reported its search and rescue teams had responded to 14 calls on and around Mount Baldy over the last four weeks.
Two hikers were reported to have died in the last four weeks amid worsening conditions.
Crystal Paula Gonzalez, a mother-of-four described as ‘the dancing hiking queen’, is understood to have slipped and plunged 700ft down the Baldy Bowl.
A helicopter was immediately dispatched, and soon found Gonzalez ‘down on a steep and icy hillside, surrounded by numerous helpful hikers assisting in any way they could,’ according to an incident report.
On 28 December, Jarret Choi, 43, was hiking the Ice House Canyon trail when he fell near the Ice House Saddle ridge line.
He was found two days later, after a search hampered by extreme weather conditions.