On January 13, acclaimed actor Julian Sands disappeared while on a hike in the California mountains. Search crews battled brutal winter storms and icy terrain in their mission to find him, which has now stretched 11 days, a fact that isn’t lost on the Sands family, who couldn’t be more grateful for San Bernardino County’s continued efforts.
On Monday (January 23), the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office released a statement on Twitter, sharing both their own thoughts as well as those of the family of Julian Sands, who was first reported missing by his wife, Eugenia Citkowitz.
In the Twitter post, SBCSD confirmed that the search for Julian Sands continues. Additionally, they vowed that the department will continue to do everything in its power to recover him. “As we enter day 11 of the search for Julian Sands on Mt. Baldy, we are reminded of the sheer determination & selflessness of all of the people who have aided in this search,” authorities said.
Following the SBCSD’s renewed promise to continue their efforts to find the lost hiker, the department shared a statement from the family of Sands, who expressed their gratitude for the department’s unwavering search efforts.
“Our heartfelt thanks to the compassionate members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department who are coordinating the search for our beloved Julian, not least the heroic search teams listed below who are braving difficult conditions on the ground and in the air to bring Julian home,” Julian’s family wrote. “We are deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support.”
California Sheriff’s Department Launches 14 Different Searches in Icy Mountains
In an advisory notice, SBCSD added that the use of drones and helicopters in the search for Sands continues, in addition to infrared devices. Unfortunately, however, they have yet to find any sign of the missing actor in the California mountains.
“Nothing is off the table. But obviously the conditions there are very extreme,” Mara Rodriguez, a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s office rep, told CNN. “We just don’t know what the turnout is going to be.”
Though tragic, Sands’ situation is far from unique. In the past four weeks, the department has responded to a staggering 14 rescue missions on Mount Baldy alone, the California mountain on which Sands vanished. In addition to Sands, officials are searching for two more hikers: Bob Gregory and Jin Chung.
Jun Chung, a 75-year-old LA resident, went missing on Saturday (January 21). “Chung was last seen at approximately 6:00 a.m. Chung initially carpooled to Mt. Baldy with two others but separated from them when they arrived. The other hikers returned safely but Chung has not been seen or heard from,” according to the sheriff’s department.
California officials continue to caution hikers away from the icy mountains. Even for the most experienced hiker, the brutal winter weather creates a deadly environment on the trails.
“Due to the high winds, the snow has turned to ice making hiking extremely dangerous,” 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.”