Automotive journalist David (Davey) Johnson went missing on his way home to Sacramento after a solo overnight motorcycle ride through Sonora Pass from Mammoth, California.
He was returning from an assignment for the magazine Motorcyclist that involved testing the Honda CB1000R, according to Car and Driver.
Johnson, who is also known for his writing in Car and Driver, Autoweek, Jalopnik, and more, was riding a black Honda CB1000R with the manufacturer license plate 3421 along California State Route 49 when he went missing.
He has not been heard from since 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, June 5, reports say.
Johnson’s girlfriend, Jaclyn Trop, told Car and Driver on Saturday that she received a text message from him at 2 a.m. on June 5 after having not heard from him in 12 hours.
“I had a great time before it got dark,” the text has said. “That part of the Sierra is just stupidly spectacular. Anyway, I’m so sorry I worried you. Yes, I am okay and alive, but I am WIPED.”
Trop told Car and Driver, “I just really hope he’s alive, because thinking about the alternative yesterday was … I don’t even have words for it.”
— Jalopnik (@Jalopnik) June 8, 2019
Johnson was last heard from at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when he texted to a friend a photo of him sitting near a stream, saying that he was on his way home, according to Car and Driver.
According to updates from his friends and loved ones on Instagram, the Honda that Johnson was riding was found late Saturday night parked by a rest stop on Route 49 near Mokelumne Hill.
“THE POLICE HAVE FOUND THE BIKE — Parked outside rest stop on RT 49 near Mokelumne Hill. Davey’s backpack, computer, and phone are not there, but the bike has been found. The Calaveras County Sheriff is planning a search and rescue starting Saturday morning to look for Davey,” the post read.
Later that day, a second update followed: “The Calaveras Sheriff has confirmed that they have found Davey’s clothes, laptop, and cellphone near the river. His wallet is missing. If anyone has any info on his cellphone carrier and/or banking/CC details, please DM me or Abby Bassett.”
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UPDATE: a GoFundMe campaign has been started for the volunteer search and rescue members. See link in my profile. DaveyUPDATE 6: 8:55 PM PT, Sunday, June 9 Search and rescue will continue tomorrow. See comments below. UPDATE 5: please see comments. UPDATE 4: 2:14pm PT, Saturday, June 8. The Calaveras Sheriff has confirmed that they have found Davey's clothes, laptop, and cellphone near the river. His wallet is missing. If anyone has any info on his cellphone carrier and/or banking/CC details please DM me or Abby Bassett. The Sheriff is looking to see if the cards have been used. Updates, as they are confirmed with primary sources, will be posted here, on FB and Abby’s Twitter account. Anyone with information or potential sightings should call the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department: (209) 754-6500 … UPDATE 2: 12:17 AM PT Saturday, June 8: THE POLICE HAVE FOUND THE BIKE — Parked outside rest stop on RT 49 near Mokelumne Hill. Davey's backpack, computer and phone are not there, but the bike has been found. The Calaveras County Sheriff is planning a search and rescue starting Saturday morning to look for Davey. MISSING PERSON! Friends, this is a sobering post I have to make on behalf of all of @daveygjohnson’s friends and loved ones. Davey was last heard from at 2am PT Wednesday morning, and was planning to ride over Sonora Pass, on a black Honda CB1000R (not pictured here, obv) headed towards Sacramento. My worst imagined fear is that he somehow went off the road on Sonora Pass with no witnesses, and no sign of an accident. But it’s hard to say. The local authorities have been notified, but I’m asking you, the motorcycle and car communities, please spread the word, help us find Davey. Here is his basic info: 5’10” 200 lbs., salt and pepper hair. If you know anyone traveling or living in the area between Mammoth and Sacramento, please pass this info on to them. Thank you! 🙏 . . . . . #missingperson #missingrider #motorcyclist #rider #mammoth #sonorapass #sacramento #sierras #easternsierras #leevining #faleshotsprings #sonora #tuolumne #yosemite #stanislausnationalforest #monolake #pinecrest #sonorajunction #dardanelle #california #help #caltrans #chp
Police begun searching for Johnson shortly after, although Trop complained that it took then almost eight hours after her alarm to convince them to trace his cellphone and issue a missing-person report. When the search began, some 72 hours had passed since Johnson’s phone last pinged a cell tower, Car and Driver reported.
“We currently have an active search for him,” Lt. Anthony Eberhardt of the Calaveras Sherriff’s Department confirmed to Autoweek. “We have not only our search and rescue but Butte and Amador Counties as well.
“CHP is assisting. We have dogs, drones, and Marine Safety boat units looking for him. California Highway Patrol helicopter also involved.”
“I just hope he’s figured out how to stay alive,” Trop told Car and Driver. “It’s been 72 hours since he was last heard from. I think people can survive that, even if he was lost by a river.”
Anyone with information is requested to reach out to the department at (209) 754-6500.