Humboltd County, a foggy, woodsy stretch along the northern, California coastline, has the highest per-capita rate of people reported missing in the country.
Those missing persons reports were the focus of a recent cover story in the local alt-weekly, the North Coast Journal. But one of the 35 people that the paper reported as missing — and was listed as missing on the California Department of Justice’s website as recently as today — was anything but: She was appearing weekly on national TV as a contestant on the reality matchmaking show, “The Bachelor.”
Rebekah Martinez, known on the show as Bekah, was apparently reported missing by her mother in November of last year by her mom. Public Information Officer Samantha Karges told VICE News in an email that the Sheriff’s office had received a missing persons report at 1:06 a.m. on Nov. 18, from Bekah’s mom, who said Bekah had told her she was headed to Humboltd County to work on a marijuana farm. Bekah had told her mom that she’d call in seven or eight days, her mom told the cops.
Perhaps she was working on a weed farm, but by mid-November she was somewhere more akin to a meat factory: the cameras on the set of The Bachelor had already started rolling.
The show put out its first promo clip for the season in Nov. 18, the same Bekah was reported missing — prominently featuring Bekah.
“We made contact with her yesterday. Before anything went crazy out of control, so to speak,” Karges said over the phone on Friday. The Humboltd Sheriff’s office emailed with Martinez’s mom back in December, who’d confirmed that her daughter was okay. But that wasn’t enough to take her off the missing persons list, Karges said.
Officers finally got a hold of her over the phone on Thursday, and were able to confirm that she was not missing, and “doing okay.”
Though Bekah had vowed on September 17 of last year to take a break from social media, she was back at it by mid-November, posting to Instagram on the 22nd, just a few days after she was reported missing.
On Dec. 8, she posted a ’gram of herself in front of the Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, with the caption, “mama i made it,” in case her mom had any doubt about where she was, I guess.
Now the only drama left in the situation is her age — she's spent only a mere 22 years on this earth, enraging several of her fellow contestants — and whether her suitor, the 36-year-old, self-professed race car driver and current Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr., will get down on one knee and ask her to marry him. (Thanks to the impeccable sourcing of Bachelor Steve, there’s no need for police to investigate this one — he won’t.)
Oddly enough, Bekah wasn’t the only person on the North Coast Journal’s list of 35 missing people to suddenly turn up after the story came out. Daniel Ogden Stromberg, a man living in Eureka, was caught off guard when he saw his name in the paper — he apparently had no idea that his family had reported him missing in 2015, and he’s still listed as missing on the California Department of Justice’s website. He does not appear to have made this season of “The Bachelorette,” but his saga, too, ended in good news — since the story was published, he’s reportedly reached out to his estranged family.