As of press time, an Amber Alert was still in effect for the missing nephew of Oscar winning actress Jennifer Hudson. The actress posted a plea on her MySpace page for his safe return.
It reads: “Thank you all for your prayers and your calls. 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. Here is a picture of Julian and what he was last seen wearing. Once again thank you all for being there for us through this tough time.”
Julian King, 7, has been missing from his South Side Chicago home since the bodies of his grandmother and uncle — 57-year-old Darnell Donerson and 29-year-old Jason Hudson — were discovered Friday by his mother, Julia Balfour, in the home they shared.
• Police are asking Chicago residents to look out for a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859. Julian is described as being 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 130 pounds. He was wearing a striped brown polo shirt and khaki pants when last seen, authorities said in the Amber Alert.
Donerson was found shot on the living room floor, while the body of Jason Hudson was discovered in the bedroom, police said. Their deaths were ruled homicides by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Jennifer Hudson & her mother, Darnell Donnerson
Chicago police spokesman Dan O’Brien says the search for King spans the entire city. But on Sunday, residents and officers were focusing their search efforts “in the immediate vicinity” of Hudson’s home. On Saturday, the FBI was called in to assist in the search for King, in case he had been taken across state lines, in violation of federal kidnap laws.
William Balfour & Julia Hudson Balfour
The FBI confirmed Sunday that Hudson’s brother-in-law, William Balfour, was in custody and being treated as a suspect, but charges had yet to be filed. Balfour was married to Jennifer Hudson’s sister, Julia, for several years, but they are currently separated. He has a criminal record and was released from prison in 2006 after serving nearly seven years on various charges, including attempted murder and car hijacking.
“All I ask, I don’t care who you are, just let my baby go, please,” Julia Balfour, said at a news conference Saturday night. “I just want my son.”
William Balfour’s mother, Michele Davis-Balfour, told WLS in Chicago that her son had nothing to do with the shootings and urged the public to focus on finding the missing boy.
“Out of no means did my son do this. This heinous crime to this family is unbelievable. It’s unbearable,” said Davis-Balfour. “Whoever has Jennifer Hudson’s nephew or Julia Balfour’s son, please, I’m begging you, me and my family are begging you to return that son.”
Jennifer Hudson, recently engaged to boyfriend David Otunga, rushed back to Chicago on Friday to identify the bodies of her mother and brother. She had been in Florida on a promotional tour for her new film, “The Secret Life of Bees,” and her new self-titled album.
While family and friends help Jennifer deal with the tragedy, support for the singer continues to pour in. Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, a Chicagoan like the singer, 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 Illinois senator said. “We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew.”
Hudson sang the national anthem during the Democratic National Convention in August after a personal request from the Obama camp.