Laurie Holt, the mother of Josh Holt, who was imprisoned in Venezuela for nearly two years, has died, according to a Facebook post from her family.

“We are devastated to announce the tragic passing of our sweet Mama Bear Laurie Holt this morning. She had a gigantic...

Posted by Laurie Moon Holt on Sunday, February 10, 2019

Laurie was present at a large welcome-home gathering for Josh in 2018, almost two years after he was arrested in Venezuela on charges of conspiring against the government of President Nicolas Maduro. Holt had traveled to the country to marry Thamara “Thamy” Caleno, whom he had met online. His wife was also jailed, accused of being an accomplice.

Former Sen. Orrin Hatch tweeted Sunday that seeing Laurie hug Josh when they were reunited was one of his most cherished memories.

Mia Love, who helped get Josh released, posted on her Facebook page that Laurie “was an amazing mother and friend and I will miss her dearly.” Love also started a GoFundMe account, hoping to raise $20,000 to help with funeral expenses.

My heart is broken to hear of the passing of my dear friend, Laurie Holt. She was loved by so many, especially her wonderful family. She was an amazing mother and friend and I will miss her dearly.

Posted by Mia Love on Sunday, February 10, 2019

At the gathering of 100-plus people who came to welcome Josh home, Laurie simply said: “Now I have my family all together.”