Hikers have found human remains in a California mountain area where British actor Julian Sands went missing five months ago, authorities have said.
The remains were discovered on Saturday morning near Mount Baldy in Southern California, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department said.
They have been taken to the coroner’s office for identification which is expected to be completed next week, the department added.
Sands, a keen hiker and mountaineer, was reported missing on 13 January after he failed to return from a hike in the Mount Baldy area.
The 65-year-old Yorkshire-born actor is known for his roles in films A Room With A View, Leaving Las Vegas and Warlock, as well as TV appearances on 24, Smallville and Banshee.
Earlier this week, his family released a statement saying they were continuing 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,” the family statement, issued by the sheriff’s department, read.
“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.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s department previously said its goal was “to bring closure” to the family.
Eight searches by ground and air have taken place for Sands since his disappearance but they have been hampered by poor conditions in the area and were halted in March due to the risk of avalanches.
A search on 17 June had included over 80 search and rescue volunteers, deputies, and staff, with their efforts supported by two helicopters, and drone crews.
“Despite the recent warmer weather, portions of the mountain remain inaccessible due to extreme alpine conditions,” the sheriff’s department said in a statement at the time.
“Multiple areas include steep terrain and ravines, which still have 10-plus feet of ice and snow.”