Last week, Bekah Martinez made national headlines when news broke that the 22-year-old Bachelor contestant (known simply as "Bekah M." on the show) had recently been featured on Humboldt County, California's ongoing missing persons list. Now that the correspondence blunder has been straightened out, Bekah M.'s latest response to the missing persons report basically boils down to some hard-earned wisdom: Always call your mom back. In a lighthearted Instagram post Feb. 3, the Bachelor fan-favorite shared a doctored photo featuring her own beaming Bachelor (senior producer: Lindsay Liles) headshot plastered along the side of a milk carton (an ode to the missing children ads of yore). Above her photo, in bold lettering, is the word, "MISSING." The accompanying caption, in full, reads, "Found myself, quite literally, on this season of The Bachelor. PSA: always call your mom back."
The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office confirmed to Bustle that Bekah M. was on the "Missing Persons" list up until Feb. 1, 2018. Bekah's mother made contact with her on Nov. 18, 2017 and informed the Sheriff's Office of this on Dec. 12 via email — but the office requires the missing person to make direct contact with the investigators, in order to confirm their well-being. Since that did not speak to Bekah directly at that time, she remained on the list up until she returned the deputy's call on Feb. 1.
In a communication mix-up for the ages, Bekah's mother erroneously reported her missing last November, as reported by North Coast Journal. As we know now, at the time, Bekah had temporarily dropped off the grid to film Arie Luyendyk's season of The Bachelor (producer: Fallon Jethroe), which is currently rolling out weekly episodes on ABC. The series' production crew requires that contestants essentially cut ties with the outside world for the duration of their Bachelor run and not access their phones, which means, of course, handing over their phones.
Sounds like the sort of information that might be relevant to a contestant's loved ones, right? (Or anyone, really, who's accustomed to keeping up semi-regular contact them.) It seems Bekah M.'s mom might echo that sentiment. Because, when the 22-year-old Fresno native went off the map to compete for Arie's hand in marriage on this season of The Bachelor, she neglected to inform her mother. Bekah had reportedly moved from Fresno to Humboldt County to work on a farm last fall. So, naturally, when Bekah's mother hadn't heard from her in several days with no explanation, she reported her missing.
According to North Coast Journal's report, Bekah's name was included in Humboldt County's missing persons registry until very recently. On Thursday, Feb. 1, The Journal posted to its Facebook page asking if its readers might recognize any of the 35 people reported "missing" from Humboldt County, CA. Some Bachelor fans immediately recognized her, and pointed out that the "missing woman" on Humboldt County's list was, in fact, Bekah M. — the bright-eyed Bachelor frontrunner who's been tugging on Arie's heartstrings all season, despite their 14-year age difference.
On Friday, Feb. 2, Bekah tweeted an immediate response to The Journal's story. And, from the get-go, it seems safe to say The Bachelor contestant wasn't exactly losing sleep over the mix-up. In a tweet which has since gone viral, Bekah wrote, "MOM. how many times do I have to tell you I don't get cell service on The Bachelor??"
Bekah's drolls didn't stop there. About an hour later, she took to Twitter once again — this time, responding to a similar story by SF Gate, which the publication tweeted alongside a snapshot of her driver's license photo. "Honestly the scariest thing about this story is that my efforts to conceal The Worst Drivers License Photo Of All Time have been thwarted," Bekah quipped. Honestly, we've all been there; though, admittedly, on a significantly smaller scale. (Next time your BFF snags a close-up shot of your DMV portrait and posts it to social media, remind yourself that things could probably be worse.)
Though she might not have given her mother the same courtesy, back in September, Bekah gave her Instagram following a heads-up about her imminent departure from the cybersphere (and mainland society at large, pretty much). And, while her sufficiently vague caption offered no real indication of her actual whereabouts, she still managed to make one thing abundantly clear: wherever Martinez was going, she was definitely pumped. "HI ALL," Martinez wrote on Sept. 17, accompanying a cheery two-part photo series that pictured the 22-year-old Bachelor hopeful looking particularly giddy against some kind of woven technicolor backdrop. The caption continued, "I'm giving up my phone and social media for the next several weeks, so if you need to contact me, welll... tough luck!"
So, was Bekah M.'s not-so-harmless white lie worth the trouble? The Bachelor is getting ready to air its sixth episode of the season tomorrow night, Feb. 5, so it's probably only a matter of time before the truth is revealed on that front, too.