An automotive journalist took a motorcycle for a test drive, and that was the last anyone heard from him…
Davey G. Johnson, 44, was on an extended test-drive of a motorcycle in California last week when he fell out of touch with his fiancé on the evening of Tuesday, June 4, 2019. He contacted his fiancé around 2AM on June 5th, apologizing for his radio silence, citing a dead cell phone and hazardous roads. “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.” By 8:30 that morning, he had contacted a friend, saying he was on his way home from the motorcycle test drive. That was the last anyone has heard from Davey G. Johnson.
Davey is a seasoned automotive writer, and a regular contributor to auto publications. The assignment he was on when he disappeared was a piece for Motorcyclist magazine. He was test-driving a Honda CB1000R motorcycle. During the search for the missing journalist, investigators were able to locate the motorcycle at a rest stop off California’s Route 49, near Mokelumne Hill. Davey’s helmet, and gloves were found neatly stored with the bike. The Mokelumne River is located near the rest stop, which is consistent with Davey’s message to a friend that morning stating he was near a creek. That’s where authorities located his backpack, including his phone and laptop. The river was searched with the help of boats and drone air support, but swift currents in the river forced the team to halt the search.
Davey was beloved throughout the automotive media sector, with publications like Jalopnik, AutoWeek, Car and Driver, and Roadshow all publicizing his disappearance in the hope it will unearth leads for investigators from the public. Davey’s fiancé, Jaclyn Trop, is also an automotive journalist. She told CBS News, “”He is so full of life and I’ve just never met anyone like him. There’s just so many questions that we have.”
When people go missing in rural or unpopulated areas, it can be difficult to piece together their last movement before they went missing. There is usually a lack of reliable external security systems that might have shown the journalist’s activity at the rest stop, as well as what direction he headed when he left his riding gear and bike parked. Witnesses are difficult to track down, especially in a transient area like a rest stop where individuals come and go with frequency. Authorities run into similar issues when searching for an individual in a national park.
Family and loved ones of Davey are holding out hope he will be found soon. No evidence of foul play has been reported by authorities. A GoFundMe page has been set up to benefit Calaveras County Search and Rescue, a volunteer division of the Sheriff’s Department, for those wishing to donate.
Anyone with information that could help in the search and rescue efforts is urged to contact the Calaveras County Sheriff at 209–754–6500.