Human remains have been found in the area of the San Gabriel mountains where British actor Julian Sands went missing more than five months ago while on a hike.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said hikers had contacted authorities on Saturday morning after finding the remains in the Mount Baldy area.
The finding comes a week after the search for the 65-year-old actor resumed on 17 June. Efforts to find the actor had slowed around mid-February after rescue teams were repeatedly hampered by adverse weather conditions.
The remains have been transported to the coroner’s office for identification, the department said.
The identification process is expected to take about a week.
Earlier last week, Sands’ family released a statement saying they continued 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,” said a family statement, issued on Wednesday by the sheriff’s department.
“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.”
Sands, best known for his breakout role in the 1985 film A Room With a View, failed to return from a hike in the Mount Baldy area of southern California on 13 January.
A longtime avid hiker and mountaineer, he had set out for a hike on the mountain, which is more than 10,000ft high and was pounded by storms during winter.
Since Sands’ disappearance, the sheriff’s department had conducted eight searches.
The actor’s family previously praised the “heroic” efforts of Californian authorities involved in the searches, and said they were “deeply touched” by the support they had received.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department earlier said its goal was “to bring closure” to Sands’ family.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press
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