Vanishing Shadows: The Unsolved Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

Brian Shaffer, an American medical student at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, was last seen on March 31, 2006.

Liam Hall
10 min readMay 30

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Brian Schaffer — Photo Credit

He had gone out with friends to celebrate the start of spring break, but they got separated, and assumed he had returned home. An intriguing security camera footage captured a brief interaction between Shaffer and two women near the entrance of a Columbus bar just before 2 a.m. on April 1. Surprisingly, the footage showed him re-entering the bar without evidence of him leaving the vicinity.

Since then, Shaffer has remained missing, garnering significant national media coverage. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance have perplexed investigators, primarily due to the absence of any other public entry or exit points at the bar during that time. The Columbus police have formulated various theories, including a focus on one of Shaffer’s friends who accompanied him that evening but declined to undergo polygraph tests pertaining to the incident. While suspicions of foul play persist, with the potential involvement of the alleged Smiley Face serial killer, there is also speculation that Shaffer might be alive and residing elsewhere under a new identity.

Brian Shaffer was raised in Pickerington, Ohio, a suburb near Columbus, and was the eldest son of Randy and Renee Shaffer. After graduating from the local high school in 1997, he enrolled at Ohio State University (OSU) for his undergraduate studies. In 2003, six years later, he completed his degree in microbiology.

During his time at OSU, Brian embarked on his medical journey at the OSU College of Medicine in 2004. Tragically, in March 2006, his mother passed away from myelodysplasia while he was in his second year of medical school.[8] Although Brian handled the loss well, his friends noted that her death deeply affected him.

Meanwhile, Brian had developed a romantic relationship with another medical student named Alexis Waggoner. Their families, friends, and even Brian himself believed that he might propose to her later in 2006, possibly during their planned trip to Miami for spring break in early April. Brian had a fondness for tropical destinations like…

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Liam Hall

I like to write about crime, among other things. Studying computer security. Join Medium using my referral link https://zeph456.medium.com/membership