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Body Found In SUV

Published:

Last Edited: October 27, 2008, 2:45 pm

Body Found in SUV, Still Unconfirmed If It's Hudson's Nephew

Boy Missing Since 'Dreamgirls' Actress' Mother, Brother Were Found Shot in Home

By LUCHINA FISHER, IMAEYEN IBANGA and DEAN SCHABNER

Oct. 27, 2008 —

 

The body of a young black boy recovered from a sport utility vehicle this morning is believed to be Jennifer Hudson's missing 7-year-old nephew Julian King, an FBI official told ABC News.

Official confirmation of the body's identity is still pending.

Police found the body in a white SUV on Chicago's west side; authorities had been searching for him since Friday. Julian hasn't been seen since Hudson's mother and brother were found shot to death in their home Friday afternoon.

Police issued an Amber Alert Friday for Julian and were looking for a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban.

An Illinois State Police spokesman confirmed to ABC News that the Amber Alert had been canceled, but declined to comment further on the investigation.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office and Chicago Police Department were investigating a white SUV on the city's west side today. Television footage showed police vehicles escorting a flatbed tow truck as it removed the SUV from the scene.

Police refused to comment.

Hudson, an Oscar-winning actress and singer, used  a MySpace blog entry Sunday  to express her thanks and ask for aid in finding her missing nephew and information in the shooting deaths of her mother and brother.

"Thank you all for your prayers and your calls," the blog entry said. "Please keep praying for our family and that we get Julian King back home safely. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts please contact the authorities immediately. ... Once again thank you all for being there for us through this tough time."

Hudson announced late Sunday, through her publicist, that she was offering a $100,000 reward for Julian's return.

"Jennifer Hudson and her family are offering a reward of $100,000 for the safe return of her nephew Julian King who has been missing since Friday, Oct. 24," the statement released by Lisa Kasteler said. "We ask that all inquiries be directed to the Chicago Police Department, Area 1 Detective Division at 312/747-8380. Jennifer and her family appreciate the enormous amount of love, support and prayers they have received while she and her family try to cope with this tragedy and continue the search for Julian."

Julia Hudson, the boy's mother and Jennifer's sister, held a news conference Saturday to plead for her son's safe return.

In the impoverished South Side Chicago neighborhood where the singer and actress grew up and which she often credited for her success, her sister Julia Hudson stood fighting back tears.

"All I ask, I don't care who you are, just let the baby go. Please," Julia Hudson said Saturday before a crowd from the podium of the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church, where her sister sang as a child. "My biggest fear has already happened. My greatest hope is finding my child."

With Greg King, the boy's father, beside her, Julia Hudson expressed her belief that Julian was still alive and added that her brother's white truck was missing. "I know he's out there," said Julia Hudson, who discovered the bodies of her mother and brother Friday at the family's Englewood home and soon realized her son was missing. "Just let him go. Put him on the side of the street. He'll sit there. Somebody will see him. He'll probably cry until somebody comes along."

"I just want my son. That's all I have to say. Please just let my baby go. He didn't do nothing to nobody, nobody. He don't deserve this," she said.

Barack Obama, an Illinois senator who shares the Hudsons' Chicago hometown, issued a statement Saturday:

"Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy and we want Jennifer to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time," the Democratic presidential candidate said. "We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew."

Jennifer Hudson sang the national anthem during the Democratic National Convention in August after a personal request from Obama's camp.

Autopsy results released Saturday showed that Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and her brother, Jason Hudson, 29, died of gunshot wounds, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office. Their deaths were ruled homicides.

 

The Balfour Connection

While Julia Hudson did not address her relationship with William Balfour, the news media are reporting that Balfour is the "person of interest" who was named in the Amber Alert after Julian's disappearance.

Chicago police have confirmed that they have someone in custody but have not identified the person.

They transferred custody Sunday to state authorities.

No one has been charged in the disappearance or murders.

"From what we know right now, it appears to be some type of domestic situation, but that's very preliminary," Chicago Police Department Superintendent Jody Weis said.

Balfour, who was paroled two years ago after serving seven years in jail for attempted murder and other crimes, has been referred to as Julia Hudson's estranged husband by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times.

His mother said he is innocent and had nothing to do with the tragic events.

"This is not my son that did this," a very distraught Michelle Davis Balfour said. "You cannot say my child did this to that girl. He loved Julia. He loved Julia's mother. My God, he put that girl's mother before me."

Mourners have showed an outpouring of emotion outside the family house, where the red Toyota that Jennifer Hudson bought for her mother sits with a birthday card for the missing Julian in the backseat.

Neighbors said Jennifer Hudson had urged her mother to leave the high-crime neighborhood but, after having lived there for decades, her mom told her it was her home.

The tragic events come just before Jennifer Hudson was scheduled to embark on a world tour today to promote her self-titled debut album with its chart-topping single, "Spotlight."

Jennifer Hudson, whose star had been on the rise after she was ousted on Season 3 of "American Idol," was featured in the summer blockbuster "Sex and the City" and stars in the film "The Secret Life of Bees."

In 2007 she hit superstardom with her debut film role in "Dreamgirls," earning a best supporting actress Academy Award for her role as rising singer turned down-and-out single mother Efie White -- a role Jennifer Hudson said she always wanted to play.

The singer also recently announced her engagement to David Otunga, best known for his stint on VH1's reality show "I Love New York."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

Entry #409

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