With the start of the first full week of 2014, the holidays are really, officially over, but hopefully you have room for one more heartwarming winter tale. On Saturday, Associated Press photographer Jacquelyn Martin snapped a photo of an apparently homeless man warming himself on a steam grate near the U.S. Capitol to illustrate the cold weather in D.C. After friends and family brought the photo to their attention, Paul and Michelle Simmons of Greece, N.Y. identified the man featured in Sunday’s USA Today as their son Nicholas Simmons, who disappeared from their home on New Year’s Day.
Simmons left his parents’ home without his wallet or cellphone, and there were no leads in the case until his photo was spotted. He was picked up by police and taken to a hospital, where he was reunited with his father and brother on Sunday night.
“It’s really gratifying to see that a photograph can make a tangible difference in someone’s life. That’s a really amazing thing to have happened,” Martin said. “I’m happy and touched that the photograph could help reunite this family.”