OH OH - Brian Shaffer, 27, Columbus, 1 April 2006 - #2

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I've always wondered about the social security thing. I read a few other places that if they just checked whether his social security number had been used they'd know whether he's likely to be alive or not. Is it that simple for them to just run a check like that? You'd think they'd have done it by now if so?

I mean, if he was using his SS # to obtain work, the IRS would be deducting taxes from those checks. They'd have his place of employment. I have to believe the police would be able to search this information, don't you? If it was that easy, they wouldn't waste more resources on the investigation, right?

I will google this to see what I find.


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I mean, if he was using his SS # to obtain work, the IRS would be deducting taxes from those checks. They'd have his place of employment. I have to believe the police would be able to search this information, don't you? If it was that easy, they wouldn't waste more resources on the investigation, right?

I will google this to see what I find.


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I've looked into this and am still doing some research, but here's what I know so far.

Police can search to see if the person with that SS# has been ticketed, fined, charged with a crime, etc. They can also find whether the person has registered for a driver's license, license plate, car registration.

If someone knowingly chooses to disappear by their own free will (no reason to see as suspicious or endangered; announces their plans prior etc.), police cannot invade their privacy by accessing medical records.

But if there is reason to believe a person could have become the victim of foul play or be endangered, police have further search capabilities including the ability to request medical records.

I am still trying to find a specific answer about whether police can trace if someone has ever been employed using their SS# since going missing.

I did find that if the family tries to declare the person "dead," the request won't be granted if it's found there is SS activity.

Also, the SS office used to offer to forward letters from family to the last known employer of missing persons, however as more search technology became available for families in these cases, the SS office discontinued this service.

Edit to add: I also found Ohio procedures for Law Enforcement Officers entering Missing Persons reports. They are here: http://ohiodnr.gov/offices-programs...ocedures/directives/leads-ncic-missing-person

They say that missing persons over 21 are only files with the National Crime Information Center IF foul play is suspected.

A case WAS opened for Brian through NCIC: His case number is - #M-96561530

From what I read, because foul play is suspected, investigators would have broader reach to search for him using records. Still hunting for the job piece though.


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dotr

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Maybe Brian ended up in a country that is just happy to have someone with medical knowledge and do not care whether he has a ss number, or an accurate I.D.?

Brian could look completely different if he is still alive, imo, wig, hair dyed ,very long or dreadlocked, bald, beard, moustache,, coloured contact lenses, dark sunglasses/ blind cane, large glasses, deeply tanned, very pale, substantially gained or lost weight ect.
Following new religion or joined a cult, studying music/playing/ working with bands ect.

speculation, imo.
 
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I have found several private investigation agencies who offer the service of verifying whether a person is gainfully employed using their SS # which suggests this info is available for those who know how to look for it.

Additional finding: I can't find any evidence of anyone requesting Brian be declared dead.

Here is the SS info on what is required for declaring a missing person to be dead: https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200304050


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Maybe Brian ended up in a country that is just happy to have someone with medical knowledge and do not care whether he has a ss number, or an accurate I.D.?

Brian could look completely different if he is still alive, imo, wig, hair dyed ,very long or dreadlocked, bald, beard, moustache,, coloured contact lenses, dark sunglasses/ blind cane, large glasses, deeply tanned, very pale, substantially gained or lost weight ect.
Following new religion or joined a cult, studying music/playing/ working with bands ect.

speculation, imo.

If so, he would've also had to exit this country without using his real ID. So yes, could he pay someone to get him out to Mexico through back channels or take a private boat to Cuba or something? I mean, it's "possible" in the biggest sense of the word. But if I am choosing between that and an undiscovered accidental death or foul play, I don't think the boat to Cuba is the most likely scenario. You know?


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itsallaboutthequeen

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If so, he would've also had to exit this country without using his real ID. So yes, could he pay someone to get him out to Mexico through back channels or take a private boat to Cuba or something? I mean, it's "possible" in the biggest sense of the word. But if I am choosing between that and an undiscovered accidental death or foul play, I don't think the boat to Cuba is the most likely scenario. You know?

This is what we call Occam's razor-- the simplest solution is almost always the right one. The more assumptions you have to make and more "wild" an explanation is the more unlikely it becomes. Did he somehow leave the country undetected which is almost impossible with enough money and resources to stay hidden forever? Chances are slim to none.
 

MatthewTyler

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This is what we call Occam's razor-- the simplest solution is almost always the right one. The more assumptions you have to make and more "wild" an explanation is the more unlikely it becomes. Did he somehow leave the country undetected which is almost impossible with enough money and resources to stay hidden forever? Chances are slim to none.
I definitely don't think Brian did some elaborate escape out of the country like sneaking on a boat or something. However, IF he's alive, I could totally see him hitchhiking out of state and just laying low in this country. All you really need is a wig and some sunglasses and then BAM! You suddenly blend into the crowds. Heck, he might not even need a wig. I work in New York City and honestly every day I see at least 10 guys that look very similar to Brian. He could easily hide out in a big city right here in America.
 

Satch

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This is what we call Occam's razor-- the simplest solution is almost always the right one. The more assumptions you have to make and more "wild" an explanation is the more unlikely it becomes. Did he somehow leave the country undetected which is almost impossible with enough money and resources to stay hidden forever? Chances are slim to none.

Agreed,

I think that alcohol and Brian's depressed state with his mother's death along with the pressure of med school likely contributed to his disappearance. I weigh this as a stronger assertion than use of pharmaceuticals. My take is that Brian made a decision that resulted in serious injury or death to him. Those close to him, probably medical students, many of them, as well as good students in other fields, don't want to talk if they know anything for fear of incrimination to themselves or to their careers. Foul play also can not be ruled out.here.

Brian does not seem like he would hang out with a drug crowd. His brother confirms that. I believe that Clint knows something. I also think him starting a new life is the least likely. Brian either:

1.) Suffered some sort of injury that night because of intoxication, which led to his death. He had an accident of some kind.
2.) Brian was taken by force for reasons unknown and killed.
3.) Brian had a bad reaction to the booze, OD'd and died.
4.) Brian quietly and quickly got out of town and could have been killed by a "bad ride" hitchhiking,
5.) Brian committed suicide because of the pressures of life getting to him. But when he did this, remains unknown. If he did kill himself, he probably got far away from town to do that.
6.) Brian went away to start a new life. But doubtful in my eyes. You would not drink shots all night to do something like that.

How long would it take to get out of Columbus traveling by car or public transit to get to some woods or open field if Brian wanted to get away? Either suicide where no one would know? Or start a new life?

Satch
 

MatthewTyler

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Agreed,

I think that alcohol and Brian's depressed state with his mother's death along with the pressure of med school likely contributed to his disappearance. I weigh this as a stronger assertion than use of pharmaceuticals. My take is that Brian made a decision that resulted in serious injury or death to him. Those close to him, probably medical students, many of them, as well as good students in other fields, don't want to talk if they know anything for fear of incrimination to themselves or to their careers. Foul play also can not be ruled out.here.

Brian does not seem like he would hang out with a drug crowd. His brother confirms that. I believe that Clint knows something. I also think him starting a new life is the least likely. Brian either:

1.) Suffered some sort of injury that night because of intoxication, which led to his death. He had an accident of some kind.
2.) Brian was taken by force for reasons unknown and killed.
3.) Brian had a bad reaction to the booze, OD'd and died.
4.) Brian quietly and quickly got out of town and could have been killed by a "bad ride" hitchhiking,
5.) Brian committed suicide because of the pressures of life getting to him. But when he did this, remains unknown. If he did kill himself, he probably got far away from town to do that.
6.) Brian went away to start a new life. But doubtful in my eyes. You would not drink shots all night to do something like that.

How long would it take to get out of Columbus traveling by car or public transit to get to some woods or open field if Brian wanted to get away? Either suicide where no one would know? Or start a new life?

Satch
A few of these would still more than likely have to end in a cover up. If he had an accident, killed himself or OD'd then his body would easily have been found. Even if he ended up in the river I'm sure his body would have washed up within 10 years. The only possible way I can see him getting hurt by himself and leaving no remains is if he died in the woods and animals ate his remains. But even still his clothing and possessions would have turned up. I just don't feel Brian was alone when he died, and I really don't feel he did it to himself. To answer your question about the wooded areas, there are plenty of wooded hiking trails near Columbus. I found a website that has a few. https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/blog/post/the-top-3-fall-hikes-in-central-ohio/ . I assume some of these might have been checked?
 
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This is what we call Occam's razor-- the simplest solution is almost always the right one. The more assumptions you have to make and more "wild" an explanation is the more unlikely it becomes. Did he somehow leave the country undetected which is almost impossible with enough money and resources to stay hidden forever? Chances are slim to none.

Yep. I try to apply Occam's razor to every case while leaving space for the small possibility that something more exceptional happened.

In nearly every (but not all) cases, OR ends up being correct.


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I definitely don't think Brian did some elaborate escape out of the country like sneaking on a boat or something. However, IF he's alive, I could totally see him hitchhiking out of state and just laying low in this country. All you really need is a wig and some sunglasses and then BAM! You suddenly blend into the crowds. Heck, he might not even need a wig. I work in New York City and honestly every day I see at least 10 guys that look very similar to Brian. He could easily hide out in a big city right here in America.

I agree that if someone was going to lay low, remote or rural America would provide easier options. It's not hard to imagine being able to find work on a farm or in some small town restaurant or something, and rent a room. The American city, too, does provide coverage because you become just one of the masses. But it tends to be expensive and more regulated, so it is harder to work off the books and afford a place there (I actually know one person who stays off the grid in Chicago, but it's challenging.)

Still...I think, after a night of drinking, disappearances are more likely to end in accidents or foul play.


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A few of these would still more than likely have to end in a cover up. If he had an accident, killed himself or OD'd then his body would easily have been found. Even if he ended up in the river I'm sure his body would have washed up within 10 years. The only possible way I can see him getting hurt by himself and leaving no remains is if he died in the woods and animals ate his remains. But even still his clothing and possessions would have turned up. I just don't feel Brian was alone when he died, and I really don't feel he did it to himself. To answer your question about the wooded areas, there are plenty of wooded hiking trails near Columbus. I found a website that has a few. https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/blog/post/the-top-3-fall-hikes-in-central-ohio/ . I assume some of these might have been checked?

Yes, in terms of Satch's numbered theories above (I will reply to you both here), I think it's either Brian--in his tipsy to drunken and tired, grief-stricken state--made a poor decision that caused unintended death (this would include OD in my mind) OR he was assaulted in a more criminal act.

I do leave room for suicide, but his upcoming tickets to Florida (a vacation he booked), tix to Pearl Jam in Detroit (which he also booked), and general goodwill toward his family and friends lead me to believe he wanted to live. That said, under the influence, while tires after studying, life might seem overwhelming and sad in that moment to induce an unplanned suicide.

Last thing. Matthew, I agree that in most cases, bodies are discovered more quickly but there are many, many examples of bodies being found a decade or more later. Many of them end up being found in vehicles in bodies of water. Unfortunately, once you get outside Columbus to more rural surroundings...say Lancaster...there are tons of old, run down and remote old farms and houses with dilapidated outbuildings. Many people who live in these country spots can be as reclusive as they want. And there are plenty of wooded areas out there where people don't frequent. Not saying someone in the country is responsible...just that the body could have been driven outside the city and dumped on unfrequented state land or some elderly person's large wooded property.


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ekardh

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This is what we call Occam's razor-- the simplest solution is almost always the right one. The more assumptions you have to make and more "wild" an explanation is the more unlikely it becomes. Did he somehow leave the country undetected which is almost impossible with enough money and resources to stay hidden forever? Chances are slim to none.

And the simplest explanation is that he never left the building. He tried to leave via the construction site and in his drunk state had an accident, fell into a crevice and was buried over.
 
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And the simplest explanation is that he never left the building. He tried to leave via the construction site and in his drunk state had an accident, fell into a crevice and was buried over.

I don't consider this the simplest explanation bc early on, there were a few officers who were consumed with this case, who bothered to account for every single person who came in and out of the bar on surveillance that night. They said the construction area was chained and would've been very difficult to enter. After taking cadaver dogs through on Monday and Tuesday, the stage/state/size of the construction at the time didn't allow for the possibility of him being concealed there in their opinion.

I consider the simplest explanation being that he left undetected with a band member or employee, and met his end after either while navigating the city in a drunk, fatigued state or by purposefully seeking out illegal activity that caused his death.


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MatthewTyler

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Well if he could be in wooded areas or scarcely used property, then they should conduct another search starting with wooded areas near Hilliard, since that's where his phone pinged from 6 months after. I know that it was believed to be a fluke on the phone company's part, but maybe there's some reason it pinged from that specific tower. Is that the closest one to where his phone was located at the time? Unless that's just the closest one to Columbus in general, I don't know
 

dotr

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Well if he could be in wooded areas or scarcely used property, then they should conduct another search starting with wooded areas near Hilliard, since that's where his phone pinged from 6 months after. I know that it was believed to be a fluke on the phone company's part, but maybe there's some reason it pinged from that specific tower. Is that the closest one to where his phone was located at the time? Unless that's just the closest one to Columbus in general, I don't know

Lots of flukes or coincidences in this case, not that they really mean anything, just noting them, imo.speculation.
Brian's father killed by a fallen tree limb, (legit)
Brian disappears on April Fool's,
He is 27, fwiw, perhaps reminiscent to some of the so-called, "27 club "
Missing just prior to a planned vacation and marriage proposal to his g.f.
Only person not recorded by cctv, leaving the club at the end of the night.
Brian's phone pings 6 months after he is missing.
 
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Well if he could be in wooded areas or scarcely used property, then they should conduct another search starting with wooded areas near Hilliard, since that's where his phone pinged from 6 months after. I know that it was believed to be a fluke on the phone company's part, but maybe there's some reason it pinged from that specific tower. Is that the closest one to where his phone was located at the time? Unless that's just the closest one to Columbus in general, I don't know

I have thought that many times myself. Search wooded areas around Hilliard. And ask anyone who has property there or outside Columbus to search their own property.


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Lots of flukes or coincidences in this case, not that they really mean anything, just noting them, imo.speculation.
Brian's father killed by a fallen tree limb, (legit)
Brian disappears on April Fool's,
He is 27, fwiw, perhaps reminiscent to some of the so-called, "27 club "
Missing just prior to a planned vacation and marriage proposal to his g.f.
Only person not recorded by cctv, leaving the club at the end of the night.
Brian's phone pings 6 months after he is missing.

I will add "he has a tattoo with the symbol from the Pearl Jam 'alive' album" on his arm.

These are probably just coincidences. It would be the stuff of movies if he somehow calculated all of this. But there are some weird twists and turns for sure.


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ekardh

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I don't consider this the simplest explanation bc early on, there were a few officers who were consumed with this case, who bothered to account for every single person who came in and out of the bar on surveillance that night. They said the construction area was chained and would've been very difficult to enter. After taking cadaver dogs through on Monday and Tuesday, the stage/state/size of the construction at the time didn't allow for the possibility of him being concealed there in their opinion.

And yet the sergeant working on the case admitted that it would've been possible for someone to leave via the construction site.
 

MatthewTyler

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And yet the sergeant working on the case admitted that it would've been possible for someone to leave via the construction site.
I don't think anybody is doubting that he could have left through the construction site, it's just a matter of if he had his accident/met his end there. Sure he could have gone through and ended up outside, that's what I believe happened, but not that he actually died there and is still buried there. Only because the search team and dogs came up with nothing. Not impossible, but I venture more on the theory that he made it out and died elsewhere.
 
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