Missing Man Miraculously Found Thanks to Press Photo

"It was pure dumb luck how all this happened," says lead investigator

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Jacquelyn Martin / AP Photo

Nicholas Simmons, 20, of Greece, N.Y., warms himself on a steam grate with three homeless men by the Federal Trade Commission, just blocks from the Capitol, during frigid temperatures in Washington, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

After disappearing from his parents’ home in upstate New York without wallet and cellphone on New Year’s Day, Nicholas Simmons was found four days later when an Associated Press photographer snapped a photo of homeless people warming themselves on a steam grate nearby the U.S. Capitol.

Simmons’ parents Paul and Michelle were alerted to the photo, published in USA Today, via a Facebook page they had set up to help find their son.

On Sunday afternoon, police picked Simmons up and took him to a hospital, where he was later reunited with his father and eldest brother.

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