Chance Photo Leads Family to Missing Son

AP used photo of man for cold-weather story
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2014 2:57 AM CST
An Associated Press photographer looking for a way to illustrate unusually cold weather took a picture of Simmons as he warmed himself on a steam grate a few blocks from the US Capitol.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin))
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(Newser) – An upstate New York family was reunited with their missing son after a photo of him appeared in their local paper alongside a story about cold temperatures hundreds of miles away in Washington, DC. Nicholas Simmons, 20, disappeared from his parents' home on New Year's Day, but after an AP photographer captured an image of him huddled on a grate, police were able to locate him and take him to a hospital where he was reunited with family members, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports.

"Nick is alive and obviously not well," Simmons' mother wrote on a public Facebook page. "(We) are going to get him home safe and this is by far the greatest example of God's love and divine intervention I have ever experienced." The photographer who spotted Simmons among a group of homeless men says the story is a reminder that every person has a story. "It's really gratifying to see that a photograph can make a tangible difference in someone's life," she says. "I'm happy and touched that the photograph could help reunite this family." (Read more missing person stories.)

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