The newspaper followed up on O'Brien's tip, contacting the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office after tracking down Martinez on Instagram. The NY Times reported that when The North Coast Journal posted a story, featuring people who were reported missing in Humboldt County. According to Karges, Martinez's mother filed a missing-persons report for her on November 18 at 1:06 a.m. "Martinez had reportedly come to Humboldt County to work on a marijuana farm". Among the missing people was a young woman named Rebekah Martinez who had been reported missing in November of 2017.
"As part of procedure, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office deputies are typically required to make direct contact with the missing person to confirm status and well-being, as geographical and other factors allow", the sheriff's office said in a statement.
A woman quickly replied and identified Martinez as a contestant on the current season of "The Bachelor". The 36-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, is the runner-up from season 8 of The Bachelerotte.
The Bachelor began filming in September and it is likely that it would have continued through to December - meaning that Martinez would have been filming at the time she was reported as missing. "It's just overall a very unflattering picture of me [from] when I was 15", Martinez explained on her Instagram story. After the story was posted, a reader noticed that one of the missing persons, Rebekah Helena Martinez, appeared to be the same Bekah M. who is now competing for the love of a 36-year-old race-car driver on TV. With Kelly and Ryan, Luyendyk appeared as one of the special guests and the hosts brought up that Martinez was recently thought to be missing by her mother. She has been live-tweeting the Bachelor season every week, after all. Sheriff's spokeswoman Samantha Karges said that the deputy spoke to Martinez on the phone. She did not post another photo until November 22. She has regularly posted since then. The story led many to believe that Martinez got a nose job prior to her appearance on The Bachelor, which Martinez denied.