Brian Randall Shaffer

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Above Images: Shaffer, circa 2006

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 1, 2006 from Columbus, Ohio
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: February 25, 1979
  • Age: 27 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'2, 165 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Light brown hair, hazel eyes. Shaffer has a tattoo of a Pearl Jam symbol on his upper right arm; pictures of the symbol and the actual tattoo are posted below this case summary. He wears wire-framed eyeglasses. Shaffer has a black spot on his left iris.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: An olive green short-sleeved polo shirt over a white long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans, white Adidas sneakers and a yellow rubber cancer awareness bracelet.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Shaffer was last seen at the Ugly Tuna Saloona, a bar near the Ohio State University (OSU) campus, between 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. on April 1, 2006. He had gone there to celebrate the beginning of spring break with several male friends, and drank several shots of hard liquour. He was last seen speaking to two college-age women inside the bar. He has never been heard from again. Security cameras at the bar show him entering the establishment, but not leaving it. Shaffer's car was found parked at his apartment, which is near the Ugly Tuna Saloona, after his disappearance. None of his personal belongings disappeared with him, and his cellular phone, credit cards and bank accounts have not been used since he went missing.

    Shaffer's loved ones describe his disappearance as highly unusual. He was a second-year medical student at OSU at the time of his disappearance, and made excellent grades. He and his girlfriend, also a medical student, were planning to vacation in Miami, Florida for spring break and were scheduled to fly there on April 3, two days after his disappearance. His family reported him missing after he missed the flight. Shaffer was in love with his girlfriend and reportedly planned to marry her. His mother died of cancer three weeks before his disappearance. He'd been close to her and he was grieving her passing, but his family and friends stated he was not inordinately depressed or suicidal.

    In May 2006, someone broke into Shaffer's apartment. The burglary turned out to be unrelated to his disappearance. Shaffer's father looked in the Olentangy River for his son's remains after his disappearance, but turned up no evidence. His father was killed in a freak accident in September 2008. Shaffer's only surviving relative is his younger brother.

    Authorities do not believe Shaffer left of his own accord, but it is unclear what caused his disappearance. He graduated Pickerington High School in 1997 and got a bachelor's degree in microbiology from OSU in 2003. Shaffer's case remains unsolved.

    Symbol Tattoo
    Left: Pearl Jam symbol tattooed on Shaffer's arm;
    Right: Shaffer's tattoo

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Columbus Police Department
    877-645-8477

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing Adults
    NBC4i
    Please Help Find Brian Shaffer
    The Ohio News Network
    The Crime Library
    Brian Shaffer's MySpace Page
    Texas Equusearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team
    Project Jason
    WBNS-10TV
    The Columbus Monthly
    Facebook Page for Brian Shaffer

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 10, 2009; details of disappearance updated.

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