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Search underway for jail escapee

     A Jessamine County high school is under lock-down, after an inmate escaped from the jail Thursday afternoon. Authorities are conducting a fairly large search, on foot and by air, for the man.

Jonathan Owens

Kentucky State Police are now in charge of the manhunt for Jonathan Owens. He escaped from the minimum security area of the Jessamine County Detention Center around 12:45 Thursday afternoon and has been on the run ever since.

As authorities hunted Jonathan Owens throughout Nicholasville, his mother looked on in fear.

"I want him to turn himself in. I love him. He's a good boy...he's a good boy," says Darlene Stephenson.

Owens escaped from the Restricted Custody Center at the Jessamine County Detention Center around 12:45. The jailer says he was in the minimum security RCC when he bolted from the guard, went out the door, and squeezed through the main gate. Authorities from Nicholasville Police, Jessamine County Sheriff's Office, and Kentucky State Police searched the area on the ground while Lexington Police's Air 1 helicopter helped out from the sky. Nearby East Jessamine High School was on lockdown while the hunt progressed along their grounds. Owens was last seen wearing a t-shirt and shorts and his mother says she's worried about him.

"I hope he doesn't get hurt. I hope he doesn't get hurt. It's cold out. I'm sorry," she says.

Owens was serving time in the work release program for writing cold checks. The Restricted Custody Center he was in when he escaped doesn't have locks on the doors. Jailer Jon Sallee believes Owens hasn't gotten far.

"He's from Jessamine County, his family's from Jessamine County, I would say he's probably still in the area," he says.

Authorities said because Owens wasn't serving time for a violent crime, they don't consider him dangerous.

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