ulian Sands’ cause of death has been deemed undetermined due to the condition of his body, six months after the British actor went missing while hiking in California.
The determination was made nearly a month after Sands’ body was recovered from the Mount Baldy area, and six months after the A Room With a View actor was reported missing by his family after he went hiking.
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No other factors in his death were found during the coroner’s investigation, a spokesperson for the San Bernardino county police department told the Hollywood Reporter, adding that such a determination is “common when dealing with cases of this type”.
The six-month search for the 65-year-old actor was extensive, and involved the use of drones and helicopters as bad weather conditions hit San Bernardino in February, which hampered the efforts of ground crews. “Extreme alpine conditions” resulted in areas covered in nearly 10ft of snow, which delayed the search even more.
In June, around a week before Sands’ body was found by hikers, San Bernardino police said volunteer searchers had put in more than 500 hours over eight searches for the actor.
Sands was an avid and experienced hiker and lived in Los Angeles. In his last UK interview, with the Radio Times, he spoke of feeling “chilled” by the discovery of human remains while climbing.
“Pals I used to climb with have stopped going to the mountains,” he said at the time, partly because rock faces had become more unstable with climate change, and partly because of age. “If you don’t really have the desire, the focus for climbing a route, if you’re not absolutely committed, it becomes much more dangerous.”
He added: “I’ve found spooky things on mountains, when you know you’re in a place where many people have lost their lives, whether it be on the Eiger or in the Andes. You may be confronted with human remains and that can be chilling.”