Missing New York man Nick Simmons and family reunited through photo printed in USA Today

By Amanda Stewart,

Nicholas Simmons, who disappeared from his parents’ home in Greece, New York on New Year’s Day and was found through a photo taken by an Associated Press photographer.

The photo was taken to depict the recent blanket of cold that has swept over the northeast, according to The Associated Press. The photo of Simmons, 20, was taken along with many others of people seeking warmth near a mall in the D.C. area and was eventually posted on a Facebook page set up to find Simmons.

On Sunday night, according to USA Today, the police in Greece contacted police in D.C., who then located Simmons for his family members.

“I am beyond able to put into words how I am feeling,” said Simmons’ mother. Though he is alive, he is clearly not well. He was taken to George Washington University Hospital.

The photo was taken by Jacquelyn Martin, who saw Simmons and thought that he looked rather young to be grouped with older, homeless men. When she asked to take his photo, she said that if she was able to write his full name in with the photo, it could help him make contact with his family. Simmons, however, declined and said to just put Nick.

“It’s very easy to put people in a box and to forget that these are real people who have families who love them and worry about them,” Martin said. “An experience like this really reminds you that every person has a story.”

The AP wire put out 126 photos depicting the weather that has struck the northeast, three were pictures of Simmons, only one clearly depicted his face.

“It was pure dumb luck how all this happened,” said Sgt. David Mancuso of Greece. “It’s truly a miracle.”

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