As the search continues for actor Julian Sands amid the blistering winter weather in the high Mount Baldy altitude, searches for two more hikers are ongoing as well: Bob Gregory and Jin Chung, the latter of whom was just reported missing on Sunday (Jan 22).
75-year-old Los Angeles resident Jin Chung was last seen at around 6:00 a.m. Sunday, the local sheriff’s department explained in a statement. After carpooling to the base of Mount Baldy with two other people, the trio decided to go their separate ways. They agreed, however, to meet back at the car to leave at 2:00 pm.
Their scheduled meet-up time came and went but Chung never arrived. After parting ways, the other hikers never heard from or saw him again.
California Officials Warn Hikers to Stay Away From Mount Baldy
After receiving the report of the missing hiker, California officials immediately launched a search and rescue mission, scouring Mount Baldy until they could no longer see the trails.
Unfortunately, like the searches for Gregory and Sands, the mission was severely hampered by the brutal winter weather sweeping the mountain. Deep snow and icy terrain slowed ground searches and high wind warnings made the use of helicopters and drones impossible.
Since Sands’ January 13 disappearance, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has continued to urge hikers away from Mount Baldy. The treacherous weather poses a deadly threat to all, even rescue crews and accomplished hikers.
“Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous,” the SBCSD said. “Sheriff’s Search and Rescue efforts are often hampered by poor weather along with dangerous avalanche conditions. The recent storms that brought the snow and ice conditions are not favorable for hikers. Even those that feel they have a high level of experience.”
The Search for Actor Julian Sands Nears Its Third Week
The search for Julian Sands began on January 13, when his wife, Eugenia Citkowitz reported him missing. The actor left for a hike in Mount Baldy that morning and never returned. Since then, San Bernardino officials have carried out a tireless search for the 65-year-old, their efforts now stretching a total of twelve days.
Despite the harsh conditions and lengthy mission, however, officials refuse to give up the search. On the contrary, the SBCSD released a statement Monday assuring those following the tragic story that their efforts haven’t waned in the least.
“As we enter day 11 of the search for Julian Sands on Mount Baldy, we are reminded of the sheer determination and selflessness of all of the people who have aided in this search,” they wrote. “We will continue to utilize the resources available to us.”
The family of Julian Sands added their own statement as well. In it, they express their immense gratitude for the continued search for their missing relative. “We are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support,” they said. “Our heartfelt thanks to the compassionate members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who are coordinating the search for our beloved Julian.”