The 22-year-old standout contestant from the current season of The Bachelor went viral this week after being removed from a missing persons list in California when someone recognized her from the show — but her biggest concern right now seems to be the photo of her that was used by authorities.
“Honestly the scariest thing about this whole story is that my efforts to conceal The Worst Drivers License Photo Of All Time have been thwarted,” she wrote on Twitter, Friday.
Replying to her own tweet, she joked, “Let’s play a game: russian nesting doll or bachelor contestant?”
Martinez also shut down the rumors that the missing persons photo was proof that she’d gone under the knife sometime before appearing on the reality show.
“I never got a freaking nose job, it’s called contouring, people, look it up,” she explained on her Instagram Story, Saturday.
“It’s just overall a very unflattering picture of me [from] when I was 15,” she added.
Martinez first went viral after the North Coast Journal shared its cover story to Facebook this week and asked if readers recognized any of the 35 people that were listed as missing from Humboldt County on the California Department of Justice’s website. One did, and pointed to Martinez’s image.
After comparing some of Martinez’s Instagram photos to her missing person’s photo and realizing they appeared quite similar, the publication reached out to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. Their call prompted the deputy who initially took Martinez’s missing person’s report to reach out to her on Thursday. After speaking to Martinez, the deputy confirmed that she was indeed not missing, and she was removed from the list.
PEOPLE spoke to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office public information officer, Samantha Karges, who provided some backstory. According to Karges, Martinez was reported missing by her mother at about 1:06 a.m. on Nov. 18. She allegedly hadn’t heard from her since Nov. 12.
According to her mother’s account, Martinez was allegedly planning on working at a marijuana farm in the area. Martinez’s mother told deputies she contacted Martinez via a friend’s cell phone on Nov. 12 at around 11 a.m. and told her she wanted her to come home. Martinez allegedly refused and said she would see her mother in seven to eight days. At the time, Martinez told her mother that she was near Eureka, an area about 45 minutes north or south of any marijuana farm.
The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office attempted to contact Martinez and others associated with her, receiving no response. The deputy followed procedure, following up on all leads and forwarding the case to the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.
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On Dec. 12, a deputy sheriff contacted Martinez’s mother by email to inquire whether she had heard from Martinez. Martinez’s mother responded to the email confirming that Martinez had contacted her late in the afternoon on Nov. 18, and stated that she was headed home. The deputy requested Martinez contact the investigator in the case as soon as possible.
As part of procedure, deputies are typically required to make direct contact with the missing person to confirm status and well-being. A deputy was not able to make direct contact with Martinez, which explains why she was not removed from the Missing and Unidentified Persons System until this week.
Of course, Martinez has been active on Twitter and Instagram throughout the time she was reported as missing. On Sept. 17, she posted that she was “giving up” her phone and social media for several weeks — presumably because she was taping The Bachelor. She resumed posting Nov. 23.
On Friday, Martinez addressed the bizarre news of her being “missing,” tweeting: “MOM. how many times do I have to tell you I don’t get cell service on The Bachelor??”
The Bachelor airs Mondays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.