Crews search Mokelumne River for missing automotive writer

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SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities using boats and drones searched a Northern California river Monday for a veteran automotive journalist who went missing while test-driving a motorcycle for a story.

Calaveras County Lt. Anthony Eberhardt said crews were searching the Mokelumne River and a reservoir near the town of Mokelumne Hill for David Gordon Johnson, who was reported missing June 5. Eberhardt said no foul play is suspected.

His girlfriend, Jacklyn Trop, said Johnson, who went by the byline Davey G. Johnson, 44, was heading home after test driving the motorcycle, a Honda CB1000R, for two days in California and Nevada to write an article for Motorcyclist magazine.

Trop said she and a friend last heard from him early last Wednesday, when he texted them.

"He said he was tired and alive and well and that he loved me very much," Trop said.

A few hours later he texted a friend and sent him a photo of himself in the river, she said. He was reported missing later that day to Sacramento authorities.

Search crews found the motorcycle at a rest stop Friday. The next day, they found his clothes, cellphone and a laptop a few feet away from the fast-moving river.

Eberhardt said the river is at a high flow and moving at a rate of 35 mph (56 kph).

Officials have warned the state's waterways are running cold and fast as the state's massive snowpack begins to melt and pour water into rivers and creeks.

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