The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has informed the PA news agency that the human remains discovered in the San Gabriel mountains in southern California are indeed those of Julian Sands.
After going on a walk in the Mount Baldy region on January 13 and failing to return, the 65-year-old British actor had been gone for more than five months.
The actor’s remains were discovered in the same location on Saturday by hikers from the general public, and a coroner later identified them as Sands’.
He gained widespread recognition for his breakthrough performance in the 1985 Helena Bonham Carter-led romantic period drama A Room With A View.
Later, Sands made a successful crossover to the horror genre, making appearances in Gothic, Warlock, and Arachnophobia, among other films.
The Sheriff’s office informed PA of the information on Tuesday.
“The identification process for the body located on Mt Baldy on June 24, 2023, has been completed and was positively identified as 65-year-old Julian Sands of North Hollywood,” a statement shared with the PA news agency read.
“The manner of death is still under investigation, pending further test results.
“We would like to extend our gratitude to all the volunteers that worked tirelessly to try to locate Mr Sands.”
Last week, Sands’ family released a statement saying they were continuing to keep him “in our hearts with bright memories”.
“We are deeply grateful to the search teams and co-ordinators who have worked tirelessly to find Julian,” a family statement, issued on Wednesday by the sheriff’s department, read.
“We continue to hold Julian in our hearts with bright memories of him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of the natural world and the arts, and as an original and collaborative performer.”
The area’s poor conditions consistently impeded search efforts over a period of five months, which were eventually suspended in March due to the threat of avalanches.
According to the sheriff’s office, there have been eight ground and aerial searches specifically for Sands.
“Over 80 search and rescue volunteers, deputies, and staff” participated in the most recent search, which was assisted by two aircraft and personnel using drones.
The department also stated that more than 500 hours had been logged by volunteer searchers.
Since 2020, Sands had resided in Los Angeles.
He was well known among his friends as a skilled and accomplished mountaineer, who enjoyed spending time hiking in the nearby places and enjoying the great outdoors.
Kevin Ryan, a fellow actor and Sands’ trekking companion, previously referred to him as “the most experienced hiker I know” to the PA news agency.
“He did as he said. He spent his entire life climbing mountains. He had a genuine passion for it, Ryan said to PA.
The actor has a son with future Evening Standard and Today editor Sarah Sands, with whom he was married from 1984 until 1987.
In addition, he shares two kids with Evgenia Citkowitz, a journalist whom he wed in 1990.