Recounting their unsettling discovery in a recent interview, the hikers who stumbled upon the remains of Julian Sands have shared their somber recollections.
On June 24, the lifeless body of Julian Sands, the 65-year-old British actor, was uncovered by recreational hikers on Mount Baldy, California.
Sands, who had been reported missing on January 13 while on a solo hiking venture, was discovered by Bill Dwyer, one of the hikers who encountered the haunting scene in Goode Canyon. He recounted to The Los Angeles Times, “It felt unreal.”
During their ascent of Mount Baldy, around three hours into their hike, they stumbled upon a solitary boot, followed by another boot at a higher elevation. Their journey led them to the uncovering of trekking poles, bones, and eventually “a mound of dark winter clothing” nearby.
Among the clothing, they found a wallet harboring Sands’ driver’s license.
“One of the hikers recalled, “He was dressed like a ninja.”
Affixed to one of Sands’ boots were microspikes, typically used for traversing shallow snowy paths. Dwyer expressed his surprise, noting, “Seeing the microspikes was unexpected. They weren’t the appropriate tools for the situation.”
Cognizant of the ongoing search for Sands, the hikers speculated that Goode Canyon was a likely location for the actor. This assumption was reinforced by the fact that his final recorded cellphone signal had emanated from an “icy ridge” along the Baldy Bowl trail.
The hikers also shared that Sands’ cellphone rested on a rock beneath a nearby tree. However, they were unable to establish a signal in that vicinity. Notably, no backpack was found in the vicinity of his remains.
Prior to this revelation, search and rescue teams had undertaken separate missions—one ascending from the bottom of Goode Canyon, the other descending from the top—in an effort to locate Sands. Regrettably, neither group reached the midpoint of the mountain where his remains were eventually found.
Donna Newlin, a member of San Bernardino County’s search and rescue team, reflected, “It was a matter of timing… If they had gone just another 600 feet down, they might have made the discovery.”
The organizer of the hiking group conveyed to The Times, “Imagine the sense of hopelessness, the solitude. Hearing the helicopter overhead, knowing people are out there searching for you, yet having no means to signal back. I still have haunting dreams about that.”
Originally, the cause of Julian Sands’ passing was categorized as “undetermined,” according to a public information officer from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department. This classification was attributed to the condition of the body, which is common in cases of this nature.
In this distressing time, our sympathies go out to the family, friends, and admirers of Julian Sands.