Nicholas Simmons disappeared from his parent's house near Rochester in upstate New York on New Year's Day.
On Saturday, an Associated Press photographer snapped his picture as he warmed himself against a steam vent in downtown Washington D.C. The purpose of the photo was to illustrate the unusually cold weather in the region.
Simmons' parents were alerted to the picture through Facebook. On Sunday, he was discharged from a hospital and spent the night in a hotel with his father and older brother.
A family friend said the three men were heading home by car to Greece, N.Y. Monday.
It remains unknown why Simmons fled in the first place.
The photographer says the incident is a reminder to journalists that every person they encounter has a story to tell.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.