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Expanded Search Retracts For Missing Automotive Writer

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San Andreas, CA — Pending further information or leads, extended search efforts to locate a motorcyclist-writer who recently disappeared by the Mokelumne River banks are suspended.

Calaveras County sheriff’s officials report that this past Saturday, the efforts expanded to find 43-year-old David Gordon Johnson included more units, volunteers and a larger search area.

The large scale, multi-agency search operation saturated the area between Electra Hydro Power Plant and Pardee Reservoir with over 100 searchers participating.

The California Office of Emergency Services obtained resources and personnel from agencies which included: California Rescue Dog Association, WOOF (Wilderness Finders Search Dogs), Bay Area Mountain Rescue, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Marine Safety Unit, Placer County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Napa County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, Butte County Sheriff’s Office Marine Safety Unit, San Benito County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, California Explorer Search and Rescue, East Bay Municipal Utilities District, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California National Guard and the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Marine Safety, Off Highway Vehicle, Investigations, Operations, and Search and Rescue Units. The Gold County Region of the American Red Cross provided drinks and meals for the searchers.

Prior to Saturday’s search, Pardee Reservoir was systematically searched using boats and specially-trained dogs. A portion of Highway 49 in Saturday’s search area was temporarily reduced to one lane to ensure the roadside and embankment were thoroughly checked out.

Johnson’s motorcycle was located at Big Bar River Access on Friday, June 7 with the keys in the ignition. The motorcycle was determined to be in operable condition with no apparent mechanical issues. Calaveras Sheriff’s Detectives believe that the last known contact from David Johnson was by way of a “selfie” photograph which he sent to a friend on Wednesday, June 5 and the location of the photograph has been positively identified as being near a small creek which flows into the Mokelumne River.

Clothing, including undergarments, and motorcycle riding gear was discovered between the location of the photograph and the river’s edge. Additionally, specially trained K9’s have indicated that Johnson’s scent travelled from the location of the photograph towards the river’s edge. Undisturbed items of value including a wallet, electronics, and a camera, were also located in the area and have been identified as belonging to the missing man.

So far, searchers have logged over 448 search miles on foot, which does not include distances travelled by those searching by boat or air miles that were covered during numerous days of helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Until more information or leads turn up, search efforts for Johnson will now be limited to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office Marine Safety Unit and sheriff’s detectives. Anyone who has seen David Gordon Johnson or has information regarding his disappearance is asked to call the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office at 209 754 6500 or the investigations Tip Line at 754-6030.

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