It happened in the early morning hours of March 25, 1996.
"We went to wake him up for his trustee duties and there was nothing but pillows under the sheet," said Sheriff Kenny Harden.
From that day on Aaron Jackson, 20-years-old at the time never looked back but Kenny Harden never stopped looking. Once Harden became the new sheriff in town, he made tracking down Jackson a priority.
"Just old-fashion police work," said Sheriff Harden.
Old-fashion police work and a lot of help of U.S. Marshals. One thing led to another. Harden finally found his man.
"We got some fingerprints from '96, sent them to the FBI for a comparison and after doing a further check, we found him in a county jail in Oregon.
Sheriff Harden says since '96 records show that Aaron Jackson has been in and out of jails throughout the country. When he escaped from the Butler County jail nearly 12 years ago, he was just two weeks away from going to trial on a theft charge. The irony is Jackson's partner in the alleged crime ended up getting probation, something Jackson could have gotten had he stayed put. But now:
"We'll see what Oregon does with him. They do have burglary and felony possession of firearm charges against him. We'll see if he fights extradition," Harden said.
If Jackson chooses not to fight it he could be back in Butler County in a couple of weeks. Otherwise, it might be a year. Either way he'll stand trial on that original theft charge and the new escape charge.
When Aaron Jackson comes back to Butler County the sheriff says he won't say anything to him such as 'welcome back.' He'll just let the law run its course.
"It's not our place to rub it in," Harden said.
When Jackson does return, he'll either go back to the old Butler County jail which was built in the late 1920's or his new home, the new Butler County jail currently under construction.