Man reunited with family after AP photo published
By The Associated Press
Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 9:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Nicholas Simmons disappeared from his parents' house in a small upstate New York town on New Year's Day, leaving behind his wallet, cellphone and everything else.
Four days later, an Associated Press photographer, looking for a way to illustrate unusually cold weather, snapped his picture as he warmed himself on a steam grate a few blocks from the Capitol.
Paul and Michelle Simmons saw the AP photograph in USA Today on Sunday morning when it was brought to their attention through a Facebook page set up to help find their son, according to police and family friends.
The photo, taken Saturday by AP photographer Jacquelyn Martin, showed Simmons with his unshaven face pressed against a grate outside the Federal Trade Commission. He wore a ski jacket and a hood over his head. A thick gray blanket covered his lower body.
Martin was assigned to the White House that weekend, but with President Obama on vacation in Hawaii, she spent the day looking for shots that would illustrate the cold weather. That is how she found Nick Simmons, in an area where homeless people often gather when it is frigid outside. She found a cluster of men huddled around the grate, introduced herself and started taking pictures.
Then, she noticed one person in particular, huddled under a blanket.
“It struck me how young he was,” Martin said. “I again introduced myself and shook his hand. He said his name was Nick.”
Martin finished shooting, sent the pictures to the wire and then called it a day. The next day, she received a message via Twitter from USA Today.
The newspaper had run the photo of Nick and was contacting Martin to tell her that Nick's family had recognized him and was trying to locate him.
Police picked Simmons up on Sunday afternoon and took him to a hospital, said Capt. Patrick Phelan of the Greece, N.Y., police department. Simmons' father, Paul, and older brother Paul Jr. arrived in Washington on Sunday night and were reunited with Simmons at the hospital, said longtime family friends Peter and Cindy Gugino of Fairfax Station, Va.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 150-plus birds seized at fighting venue in W.Va.
- Study says regular pot use affects the brain
- Subsitute for Pap smear scorned; overtreatment cited
- Additional sanctions possible against Russia
- At least 5 women linked to sexual torture case in St. Louis
- Public employees union fights outside IRS collectors
- Bankrupt Detroit, retired cops, fire crews agree to deal that saves pensions
- Immigration activists threaten Obama, Democrats
- Suspect in Jewish community sites shootings appears in court in wheelchair
- Court upholds EPA emissions restrictions
- Drought uncovers fatal crash scene