Authorities ping cell phone to find missing motorcycle driver

Authorities in Isanti County used a cell phone ping to locate a missing motorcyclist who was killed in a crash over the weekend.

Shortly after 11 a.m. on Sunday, the sheriff’s office received a report of an overdue motorcyclist. Deputies requested a cell phone ping and the cell phone provider located the cell phone in Maple Ridge Township.

During a search of the area, deputies found the missing motorcyclist and his motorcycle. The motorcyclist, identified as 47-year-old Paul Johnston of Stanchfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A preliminary investigation revealed the driver was headed eastbound on 385th Avenue Northwest and failed to negotiate a curve in the road and struck a road sign.

An autopsy will be performed to determine if there were other factors contributing to the accident and the official cause of death.

The Isanti County sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate the accident.