The 65-year-old performer was reported missing by his wife on Friday evening, Jan. 13, after he had gone hiking in the Baldy Bowl area of the San Gabriel Mountains, according to Los Angeles television station KABC-TV and the Hollywood trade publication Variety.
“From what I understand, he left sometime that day for a hike and when he did not return, his family reported him missing,” KABC-TV quoted Gloria Huerta, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, as telling the news outlet.
Ground teams immediately launched a search for the actor but the effort was called off about 24 hours later due to avalanche risks and poor trail conditions, according to Variety, which also cited the sheriff’s department.
Intermittent aerial searches by helicopter and drone aircraft have continued, however, and authorities planned to resume a ground search once conditions allow, Variety said.
The Baldy Bowl, about 50 miles northeast of Los Angeles just below the Mount Baldy ski area, is a popular destination for skiers, climbers and hikers.
But the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department issued an advisory on Thursday warning that severe winter weather, following weeks of storms that dumped torrential rain and heavy snow across California, has made the area dangerous for outdoor recreation.
Over the past four weeks, the sheriff’s search teams have been dispatched on 14 rescue missions on Mount Baldy and surrounding areas for lost or stranded hikers, two of whom perished after falling or injuring themselves, the advisory said.
The sheriff’s department, which made no mention of the actor in its advisory, did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for further information. Sands’ Los Angeles-based representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
Born in England, Sands moved to California in the 1980s to pursue a Hollywood career after the success of the 1985 film “A Room with a View,” a period romance in which he was cast as the leading man opposite Helena Bonham Carter.
He also starred as the son of Satan in the 1989 supernatural thriller “Warlock” and its sequel “Warlock: The Armageddon.” Other film credits include supporting roles in “The Killing Fields,” “Arachnophobia” and “Leaving Las Vegas.”
(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Neil Fullick)