Human remains have been found in the area of the San Gabriel Mountains where British actor Julian Sands disappeared while hiking more than five months ago.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said civilian hikers contacted authorities Saturday morning after finding the remains in the Mount Baldy area.
The find comes a week after the search for the 65-year-old actor resumed on June 17. Efforts to locate the actor slowed around mid-February after rescue teams were repeatedly hampered by adverse weather conditions.
The remains were taken to the coroner’s office for identification, the department said.
The identification process is expected to take about a week, police said.
Earlier last week, his family released a statement saying they continue to keep him “in our hearts with fond memories.”
“We are deeply grateful to the search teams and coordinators who worked tirelessly to locate Julian,” the family said in a statement issued by the sheriff’s department on Wednesday.
“We continue to carry Julian in our hearts and fondly remember him as a wonderful father, husband, explorer, lover of nature and the arts, and an original and collaborative artist.”
Sands, best known for his breakthrough role in the 1985 film A room with a viewdid not return from a hike in the Mount Baldy area of the Southern California mountains on January 13.
A long-time avid hiker and climber, he had embarked on a trek up the 10,000+ foot towering mountain east of Los Angeles, which was battered by severe winter storms.
Authorities said that while the warmer weather enabled the recent search, parts of the mountain remained inaccessible due to dangerous conditions.
Since Sands’ disappearance, the sheriff’s department has conducted eight searches totaling more than 500 hours of search time.
The actor’s family previously praised the “heroic” efforts of California authorities involved in the searches and said they were “deeply touched” by the assistance they received.
His brother Nick Sands told it the cowardly herald Late January: “He has not yet been declared missing, he is believed to be dead but I know in my heart that he is missing.”
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department previously said their goal is to “put the family to rest.”
Anyone with additional information about Sands is asked to call Detective B Meelker at (909) 356-6710.
Additional coverage from The Associated Press