Barhopping is one of the most dangerous things a young person can do. So many of the missing persons/mysterious death cases I hear about happened while a young person was partying late at night with friends. Such is the case with today's mystery, which takes us back to 2006, when a man with a very promising future headed out on the town with friends:
Brian Shaffer was a 27-year-old second-year medical school student at Ohio State University. He and his girlfriend, Alexis, were leaving the next morning for Florida on spring break. Some have said they thought he might have been planning to propose on that trip.
At approximately 9pm on March 31, Brian met up with his friend Clint for a night out on the town. This was something they did on a regular basis. Alexis was spending the weekend with her family. When she spoke with him on the phone, everything seemed normal.
|Image credit: Dateline NBC|
Brian and Clint visited several bars, drinking at each, before heading to the Ugly Tuna Saloona, a seafood restaurant in Colombus, Ohio.
A camera was set up at the entrance to capture those coming up the escalator that led to the restaurant. The camera captured Brian, Clint, and Clint's friend Meredith. Brian was in front, leaning on the handrail.
Inside, Brian ran into some girls he knew and was "doing his usual thing and was talking to those two girls," Clint says. At 1:55 am, Brian appeared on the video for the last time. He was talking to some girls at the front, near two security guards. The camera catches him walking back toward the restaurant. He's never seen again.
Assuming he'd left, they went home. The next morning, his girlfriend repeatedly tried to reach him. They were supposed to be at the airport for a morning flight. He didn't show up.
Since that night, there has been no activity on his credit cards or cell phone. But the biggest mystery of all? How did he get out of the bar? There were cameras at every exit and police have scrutinized every second of tape--no sign of him leaving the bar.
There was one exit without a camera...but it required navigating through an area that was heavily under construction. Would he have gone out that way on his own? Why?
Police believe it was foul play. Even if he'd walked out on his own, the trip back to his apartment would involve walking through a rough neighborhood, drunk, alone. But true crime fans like to believe missing people like Brian simply walk away to start a new life somewhere.
What do you think happened to Brian Shaffer?