Automotive Writer Was Almost Done With Test-Drive, Vanished

David Gordon Johnson was last heard from Wednesday morning
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 11, 2019 9:20 AM CDT
Updated Jun 15, 2019 7:30 AM CDT
Writer Test-Driving Motorcycle for Article Has Gone Missing
A GoFundMe campaign to help assist with the search has exceeded its goal of $15,000.   (GoFundMe)

A freelance automotive writer who set off on a lengthy test drive of a motorcycle in California has gone missing south of Sacramento, though the bike has been recovered. CNN reports David Gordon Johnson texted his fiancee at 2am Wednesday, June 5, to explain why he hadn't been in touch much earlier in the evening, citing a dead phone and challenging roads after dark. "That part of the Sierra is just stupidly spectacular. Anyway, I'm so sorry I worried you," the 44-year-old wrote. "Yes, I am okay and alive, but I am WIPED." Around 8:30am, he messaged a friend, describing himself as near a creek and saying he was on his way home. He hasn't been heard from since.

California Highway Patrol officers found the Honda CB1000R Johnson had been riding for a piece for Motorcyclist magazine, along with his helmet and gloves, at a rest stop on California Route 49 near Mokelumne Hill on June 8. The Mokelumne River is located nearby, and his phone, laptop, and backpack were found there. The river was searched for a time on Monday using boats and drones before the effort was abandoned due to high and swift waters, moving at 35mph. Fiancee Jaclyn Trop was holding out hope that he's alive but couldn't find his way back to his bike, per Car and Driver. The AP quotes Calaveras County Lt. Anthony Eberhardt as saying foul play isn't suspected. (More missing person stories.)

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