RIVERTON, Utah (News4Utah) – Community members gathered to greet a Utahn who recently returned to the United States after a two-year incarceration in a Venezuelan prison.
Twenty-six-year-old Josh Holt, his wife Thamy and his step-daughter arrived at Salt Lake City International Monday evening.
It was emotional for many with didn’t know until Saturday if Josh and his family would make it back to the states alive. Some family members admit over those two years there were times when they had doubts, but they held out for this day and it finally came.
“There was tough times, but if you gave up hope what else do you have,” said Linda Holt, Josh’s grandmother.
After months of negotiations between the U.S. and Venezuelan governments, the Holts were suddenly freed on Saturday. They reunited with family in Washington D.C. and were greeted by President Donald Trump and other lawmakers including Senators Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee and Representative Mia Love.
The Holts arrive at Salt Lake City International
After months of prayers and work, it is incredible to welcome this family back home! While my relationship with the Holt’s started through sadness, it has blossomed into a lifelong friendship. #JusticeforJosh #utpol pic.twitter.com/lsatwx3vLv— Mia Love (@MiaBLove) May 29, 2018
As news of his pending arrival spread Saturday, dozens of community members began to dress up the Riverton neighborhood he calls home. They tied neon green ribbons along 12600 South to welcome him. A celebration was planned at the Old Dome Meeting Hall in Riverton City Park.