Donations sought for Kennewick murder victim

By Tri-City Herald staff September 30, 2011 

Friends of a Kennewick man shot by his mother in a murder-suicide are collecting donations in his name to help raise awareness about autism.

Jason Mertz, 28, had Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism.

Mertz was found dead Sept. 16 at his Grand Ronde Avenue home after being shot multiple times by his mother.

Ruth Mertz, 56, then shot herself and died at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland. She left a note at the home indicating she shot her son before shooting herself.

Jason Mertz's childhood friend, Adam Halverson, has set up a donation account through the Autism Speaks website in Jason Mertz's name.

They are hoping to raise $1,000. Donations can be made online at

A memorial service for Mertz is at 2 p.m. Saturday. Friends will gather near the Lampson Pits at Columbia Park in Kennewick because Mertz used to love watching the hydroplane races on the Columbia River.

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