THE air search for missing actor Julian Sands has been stepped up after he vanished on a hike over a week ago.
A helicopter search for the missing Brit is underway as US authorities are using GPS data from his phone to try to pinpoint his location.
Both national and state officials are now working with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's office, a week after the 65-year-old disappeared while on a hike on Mount Baldy near LA in California.
The actor was planning to complete the dangerous trek in a day but was reported missing when he failed to return home.
The involvement of federal and state agencies marks a step up in the search for Sands – which is to continue via helicopter only for now.
Search and rescue efforts have been hampered by heavy snow and ice due to evidence of avalanches in the area.
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Officials said the search continues by “helicopter and drones when weather permits”.
The county sheriff's department previously revealed that pings from the actor's phone appeared to show he was still on the move on Sunday heading further into the mountainous area of Baldy Bowl.
A spokesperson said: "We are working with state and federal agencies that have cell phone forensics to assist us in pinpointing a location, but so far no new info has been developed."
Sleet, snow and fog forced the suspension of search efforts – but police say there is "no hard deadline" for calling them off.
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Earlier this week, Julian's snow-covered car was recovered by investigators and towed away.
Mount Baldy residents noted the "extreme" conditions but said they would not "rule anything out" in the mission to find Sands.
As fears for the actor's safety grow, the star's friends were praying for good news.
The experienced climber's old friend and movie producer Cassian Elwes, 63, told The Sun the situation was "incredibly sad" and "mind-boggling."
He described his old friend as "an adventurer" who had "climbed all kinds of mountains."
Julian is best known for his roles in hit movies A Room with a View, Warlock and Leaving Las Vegas.
He moved to the North Hollywood area from the UK in 1985.
The 65-year-old has two daughters with the journalist Evgenia Citkowitz, who he married in 1990.
He also had son Henry with his first wife Sarah Sands – the former editor of the Sunday Telegraph and the Evening Standard.
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Rescue teams are also searching for another hiker, California resident Bob Gregory, who disappeared on Monday.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department previously urged hikers to "think twice and heed warnings", saying its search and rescue teams had responded to 14 calls on Mount Baldy and in the surrounding area over the last four weeks.
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