Disappearance of Brian Shaffer


Name: Brian Randall Shaffer
Age: 27 years old
Last seen: April 1, 2006
Location: Colombus, Ohio
Status: Missing


Physical Description

Brian Shaffer is a Caucasian male with brown hair and hazel eyes, he is 6’2 and weighs 165lbs. He has a tattoo of the Pearl Jam Symbol on his upper right arm, he wears wire-framed glasses and has a black spot on his left iris.


Brian was last seen wearing a green short-sleeved polo shirt over a long-sleeved white shirt, blue jeans with white Adidas sneakers, and a yellow rubber cancer awareness bracelet.

Background Information

Brian Randall Shaffer was born February 25th, 1979 in Pickerington, Ohia, to parents Randy and Renee Shaffer. He was the oldest of two sons, he had a brother Derek.

Brian with his parents

Brian graduated from high school in 1997, he then went on to attend Ohio State University to study as an undergraduate for 6 years and graduated and moved on to go to medical school. At the time of his disappearance, he was in the second year as a medical student.

Brian had a degree in microbiology and was extremely smart. He also loved to play guitar.

Brian-with guitar

He began his journey in medical school in 2004, he attended the Ohio State University College of medicine. While attending he met his girlfriend Alexis Wagner and they had an amazing relationship.

Brian and Alexis

Brian’s mother passed away 3 weeks before he disappeared from cancer, he was very close with her and was grieving her passing, however, his family and friends have said he was not depressed or suicidal.


March 31st was the day everyone was taking their final exams before they were heading off to Spring Break. Brian had plans with his brother Derek and Derek’s wife to hang out that night but Derek ended up canceling the plans. Brian then reached out to his friend William Florence and made plans to go out to celebrate.

Brian with William “Clint” Florence

Later that day Brian met up with his dad and they went out for dinner, Randy says the only thing he noticed was that Brian looked extremely exhausted, but he thought it was just because of the studying he had been doing for his tests. When Brian told his dad he was planning to go out that night, he thought that it was better if he just stayed at home, but he did not say anything.

Around 9 pm on March 21st, Brian met up with his friend William “Clint” Florence at the Ugly Tuna Saloona bar.

The Ugly Tuna has a restaurant on the first floor and you would have to take an escalator which took you to the bar on the second floor.

Around 10 pm he called his girlfriend Alexis Wagner, while still at the bar, telling her he loved her and that he would see her when he came back to Colombus. Alexis said he sounded completely fine and thought nothing was out of the ordinary. The couple had a trip to Miami planned for April 3rd.

Brian and William were bar-hoping and did a shot at each bar they went to while making their way to the Arena District.

According to one of Brian’s friends William “Clint” Florence, sometime after midnight, they had met his female friend, Meredith Reed in the Short North neighborhood, who gave them a ride back to the Ugly Tuna bar. There was a live band playing there and they wanted to finish off the night there.

There is surveillance footage of Brian Shaffer, William Florence and Meredith Reed entering the Ugly Tuna at 1:15 am on what was now April 1st, 2006.


According to William, while at the Ugly Tuna, he saw a group of people he knew, so the three of them ended up merging with William’s group of friends.

Brian is seen again of security footage at 1:55 am, talking to two women, Amber Ruick and Brighton Zatko, outside of the bar area with William, which was still inside the building. Brian was then alone with Brighton and was apparently flirty and even kissed her neck at one point. She then put her phone number into Brian’s phone. These two women were later identified and ruled out.

After his conversation with Brighton, she went into the bar to use the restroom and when she came back out Brian was not there. Brian is last seen walking back into the Ugly Tuna at 1:57 am. This was the last time Brian was seen and he was not seen walking out of the bar.


According to William and Meredith, it was normal for Brian to wander off so they looked around for Brian and tried to call him multiple times but they could not get a hold of him. They left the bar when it closed at 2 am and waited outside while the crown left but did not see Brian exit, so they assumed he had gone back to his apartment without telling them.

The next two days Brian’s parents and girlfriend Alexis were trying to get a hold of Brian but could not reach him. Despite this, on the morning of April 3rd, Alexis went to the airport, expecting to see Brian there waiting for her. However, Brian never showed up and missed his flight. This is when they filed for a missing persons report to the Colombus Police Department.

The Search

Police began their search at the Ugly Tuna Saloona, where Brian was last seen. The bar as well as the bars next to the Ugly Tuna had security cameras. Police looked at all the security footage but the only footage of Brian was at 1:15 am when he entered the bar and the second time at 1:55 am when he re-entered the bar on his own.

The Ugly Tuna bar has two exits, the first is the entrance/exit for the general public, the other is a service door which is on the first level, when you open this door there is a construction site.

Police and workers have the would be no reason someone would need to use the service doors and police have also said it would be difficult and challenging to get out of the construction site.


The service door area did not unfortunately have CCTV.

Brian’s car was found parked at his apartment, near the Ugly Tuna Saloona after he disappeared. Personal belongings were found inside his car. His phone, credit cards, and bank accounts have not been used since he went missing.

Brian’s dad, Randy, received information from a psychic that Brian’s body was dumped into a body of water. Randy and Derek searching the bridges in the surrounding areas of the river that flows through Columbus and was approximately a mile from Brian’s apartment. However, they were unable to find any trace of Brian.

Police brought in search dogs, they searched the surrounding area and looked through all CCTV footage they could get, they also gave everyone who was with Brian that night a lie detector test. The only person who refused to take a lie detector test was William “Clint” Florence, who also immediately lawyered up because he did not want to talk to the police without a lawyer.

Police also searched Brian’s apartment, there were no signs of a struggle nor were there any items missing. This led police to believe he did not go back to his apartment that night. Also, police looked at Brian’s cell phone records and bank accounts to see if there was any activity on either but there has been so activity on either since Brian’s disappearance.

Every night since Brian’s disappearance, Alexis called his phone in hopes he would maybe pick up but his phone would always go to voicemail, which led investigators to believe his phone was switched off.

6 months after Brian Shaffer’s disappearance, Alexis ended up calling Brian’s phone, and this time it actually rang. His phone rang three times and then went straight to voicemail. Alexis went straight to the police, this led them to figure out that the last ping off of his phone came from a cell phone tower in Hilliard, which is around 14 miles northwest of Columbus, Ohio. This was later determined by Brian’s wireless provider to possibly be from a service glitch.

Brian’s phone has never been discovered.


Sadly, in 2008 Brian’s father Randy passed away without ever knowing what happened to his son.


Theory 1: Brian disappeared off of his own free will. Some people believe Brian wanted to start a new life, his mother’s funeral was held only 25 days before his disappearance so some people think he wanted to have a fresh start, the pressure of school and his mother’s passing was too much. Another reason people believe this theory is because on Brian’s MySpace page he wrote “I really love music and this whole doctor thing is really just a job, only temporary, until I get my band together and put out a record. I want to own an island someday or at least a beach so I can listen to Buffet all day and drink margarita’s with my senorita.”

Also, Alexis said a week after Brian’s mother’s passing, he had told her to just go away with him, and then a few days before his disappearance he had told her to move on and find someone else. His family also said he also showed up 1 hour late to his mother’s funeral because he was so distraught.

Theory 2: Brian left the Ugly Tuna bar, whether it was through the service door or it was undetected on the main entrance/exit to the general public CCTV. Then when Brian left he got into an accident, he possibly got into a bar fight after leaving the bar or whether he got lost in the construction site.

Theory 3: Brian got stuck in the construction zone. However, someone would have seen him or found him by now. Also, investigators conducted searches and brought in sniffer dogs.

Theory 4: Brian’s friend William “Clint” is more involved than he is letting on. Many people believe this theory because he refuses to take a lie-detector test and he also lawyered up quickly. He either could have had more to do with Brian’s disappearance or he knows more than he’s letting on.

Theory 5: This theory is linked to theory 4. Brian and William “Clint” could have been doing drugs that night and something went wrong and William didn’t want the police to find out. Brian’s family does not believe William’s story about that night, they believe he knows more than he is saying. Additionally, Brian’s family believes if Brian were to walk off somewhere he would have probably told Willaim where he was going, they believe William knows which direction Brian went that night.

Theory 6: Brian got into an altercation with someone at the bar, who worked there/knew someone who worked there and his body ended up in the freezer or his body was dismembered and disposed of.


Contact Information

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Brian Shaffer please call the Colombus Police Department at 877-645-8477


Resources and Further Information



Brian Randall Shaffer


Investigation Discovery – The Missing Season 1 Episode 6

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