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CRIME NEWS     CRIME ANALYSIS     TRUE CRIME STORIES
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 August 12, 2023

Hikers open up on when they discovered Julian Sands body

Hikers open up on the surreal moment they found actor Julian Sands' body.

Julian Sands, known for captivating audiences in movies like "The Killing Fields" and "Leaving Las Vegas," embarked on a hike in the treacherous terrains of California's San Gabriel Mountains. Little did anyone know, this adventure on Mount Baldy would be his last.

His wife raised alarms on January 13 when the British actor didn't return from his solo hike. For months, Sands remained a missing person, with search teams and volunteers scouring the region for any trace of him. But, the mountain's hazardous conditions, notably a rare blizzard that dumped almost 10 feet of snow, made the search immensely challenging. It wasn't until June 24 that a group of recreational hikers made a discovery that would bring closure to Sands' loved ones.

The Los Angeles Times published an interview with these hikers, who described their experience as "surreal." They initially found a boot. This first discovery led them to another boot, then to trekking poles, bones, and a pile of dark winter clothing. It was in the pocket of this clothing that they found a wallet. A driver's license within confirmed it was Julian Sands.

Hikers express concern over Sands' equipment

Bill Dwyer, a member of this group, said that he looked like a ninja.

This was in reference to Sands' dark clothing, a choice that struck the hikers as odd, especially given the challenges of the terrain. The actor was also found wearing Microspikes. These are devices often strapped to boots for hikes on less steep snowy trails. For a place like Mount Baldy, considered one of the deadliest mountains in the U.S., this equipment seemed inadequate.

Dwyer continued, saying that he was shocked to see the microspikes as they were not suitable for Mount Baldy's challenging conditions, Yahoo News reported.

These hikers, aware of Sands' disappearance, had speculated that he might have ended up in Goode Canyon based on his last known cellphone location. Sure enough, they found his cellphone beneath a tree on a rock. However, it had no signal.

The San Bernardino Sheriff's Department later identified the remains as Julian Sands. But the official cause of Sands' death, as confirmed by Fox News, remains "undetermined." They noted that such a label is common in cases like this, where circumstances are uncertain.

Could the search teams have done More?

Prior to the hikers' discovery, search and rescue teams tried different strategies to locate Sands. They split into two groups. One descended from the mountain's top, while the other ascended from the bottom of Goode Canyon. Unfortunately, neither team reached the middle area where Sands' remains were eventually found.

Donna Newlin, a member of the San Bernardino County’s search and rescue team, voiced her regret after opening up about maybe finding Sands had they gone a little further.

Upon locating Sands, Dwyer immediately sent out an SOS using his satellite-messaging device. A response came in just eight minutes.

Lessons to Learn from This Tragedy

The loss of Julian Sands on Mount Baldy is heartbreaking and serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictability of nature. But, it also underscores the importance of preparation. Some key lessons include:

1. Equip Properly for Terrain: Always ensure you have the correct equipment for your hike. While Sands' Microspikes are suitable for less challenging trails, they might not have been the best choice for Mount Baldy's steep and treacherous slopes.
2. Bright Clothing Can Help: While it's unclear if wearing bright colors could have changed the outcome for Sands, they certainly make hikers more visible. This could be especially vital in emergency situations.
3. Always Inform Someone: Before embarking on a hike, especially alone, always let someone know of your plans and expected return.
4. Stay Updated on Weather: Nature can be unpredictable. Checking weather updates and being aware of possible storms or adverse conditions can be lifesaving.

However, it's crucial to remember that despite all precautions, tragic events can still unfold. It's never the victim's fault.

Why this story resonates with many

The disappearance and tragic end of Julian Sands is not just about the loss of a talented actor. It's a human story that touches upon the unpredictability of life and nature. Many of us seek solace and adventure in the wilderness, yet it can sometimes be unforgiving.

People are also drawn to Sands' story due to the mystery surrounding his final hours. The search efforts, the challenges posed by the weather, and the eventual discovery by a group of unsuspecting hikers, all add layers to the narrative.

Furthermore, Julian Sands' fame magnifies the tragedy. His roles in iconic films connect him to millions worldwide, making his loss felt by many.

Lastly, it serves as a powerful reminder of the unpredictable nature of life and the importance of cherishing every moment.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.
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