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HOLMBERG: River tent was home to drowning victim, meth lab suspects

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RICHMOND, Va. -- It's a nice tent, sitting on the north side of the James River downtown in a beautiful, secluded spot.

Shoes are lined up outside the zippered entrance. Folding camp chairs lay beside the orange Ozark Trail tent that police have been watching.

One of the inhabitants, 36-year-old Amy Sue Briscoe, will never come back.

The other is on the run.

They apparently left the tent last Tuesday morning, March 29, and walked upriver and across the footbridge to Belle Island.

Harold Guy Warner and Amy Sue Briscoe

Harold Guy Warner and Amy Sue Briscoe

The two were seen floating down the still quite-chilly James River to the area below the Manchester Bridge.

Both got sucked over the old hydroplant diversion levee.

Briscoe got trapped in the hydraulics and drowned, according to police and witnesses.

The shivering man was pulled out and treated for hypothermia. He told rescuers he had just met the woman and gave them identification that turned out to be fake, according to a police source. He then disappeared.

Investigators quickly determined that the 36-year-old Briscoe, who had burns on her hands, was wanted for a February methamphetamine lab explosion in Hornell, New York.

That's when police realized the other suspect in that blast, 27-year-old Harold Warner, was the man in the river that had slipped through their fingers.

Warner and Briscoe's tent

Warner and Briscoe's tent

Inside the tent, a police source said, was evidence that it was used by the fugitives.

It looks like there may be a chance someone in Ashland helped them get medical supplies to treat her burned hands, which may explain why they were in the Richmond area.

Police said Warner could possibly be panhandling in the area, so keep your eyes open. Anyone spotting him should call Richmond police Detective Gary Bailey at (804) 646-6743 or contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.

According to Briscoe's Facebook page, she and Warner had been in a relationship since last November.

They apparently found a romantic spot to hide out and lick their wounds.

But there was nothing romantic in the way it turned out.