John Salangsang/John Salangsang/Invision/AP
Police said they are changing tactics in the search for actor Julian Sands, who disappeared 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 viewdisappeared Jan. 13 while hiking around snow-capped Baldy Mountain.
Search and rescue teams began searching for Sands about a mile southwest of the mountain peak after cellphone pings suggested he was on a known trail. But the high winds and the risk of avalanches caused pauses in the 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 materials, electronics and, in some cases, credit cards “.
UPDATE: The search for Julian Sands continues by air only. The California Highway Patrol – Valley Division Air Ops of Auburn, CA is currently assisting us with 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 approach came just a day after crews were able to locate another missing hiker. Jin Chung, a 75-year-old man from Los Angeles, was found a day after his disappearance; he suffered leg and weather-related injuries, said the police.
Although about 40 miles northeast of Los Angeles, Mount Baldy is known for its relatively cold and wet winters. Nighttime temperatures in the region have dropped as low as 29 degrees last week.
“Exposure to the Elements and Falls Contribute to Mount Baldy’s Rising Mortality Rate,” police wrote in a search update earlier this week. Search and rescue teams have carried out 233 missions on Mount Baldy since 2017, with eight fatalities.
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 increased weather shutdowns in 2019.
Along with the surrounding San Gabriel region, Mount Baldy is unincorporated, technically under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Agriculture and Forest Service.
The sheriff of neighboring San Bernardino County hinted in a statement that he could not lend more resources to the Sands search due to “shortfalls in USFS staffing, resources, and funding.”
The office said it was working with lawmakers to try to get more funding for the USFS to implement a permit process for local hikers and boost wilderness education.
Representatives for Sands did not immediately respond to NPR’s request for additional information.
The English-born actor, who resides in North Hollywood, is best known for starring in the 1985 British romance A room with a view.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, he filled title roles in films such as warlock, Arachnophobia, Leaving Las Vegas, boxing Helena and The Killing Fields.
In recent years, he’s gone on to appear in dozens of minor television roles and feature films ranging from low-budget favorites to highly acclaimed hits.
When requested in 2020 by The Guardian when he was happiest, Sands spoke not of acting, but of recreating.
“Near a mountaintop on a glorious cold morning,” was his reply.