Chicago police have confirmed that the body of a young boy found Monday morning in an SUV was the missing nephew of Jennifer Hudson, police Supt. Jody Weis said Monday afternoon.
Authorities found 7-year-old Julian King inside of a white Chevrolet Suburban on Chicago’s West Side Monday morning. His body was on the floor in front of the SUV’s middle row of seats, covered up with heavy plastic and other items to conceal the body, a police source told NBC Chicago. The boy appeared to have been shot in the back of the head, the source said. An autopsy has been scheduled for today.
King had been missing since Friday, when a cousin who lived nearby found the slain bodies of Hudson’s 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson, and 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson in the home they shared. Their deaths were ruled homicides. The Tribune reports that bullet casings were found in the boy’s room on Friday.
The Chicago Police Department issued the following statement before noon Monday: “At approximately 7:06 A.M. a 1994 White Chevrolet Suburban bearing Illinois license plate X584859 and identified in the Amber Alert was located at 1313 S. Kolin. A body was discovered inside the Suburban, in the rear seat of the vehicle.”
Police are reviewing surveillance tapes in the neighborhood where the SUV was found.
With the exception of having to identify all three bodies at the Medical Examiner’s office, Jennifer Hudson has remained in seclusion in Chicago. According to the AP, all public events that she had scheduled over the next week or so have been canceled, and a planned video shoot for her new single “If It Isn’t Love,” which was to take place starting Monday in Los Angeles, was also abandoned.
Her label released this statement of support: “On behalf of the RCA Music Group and Arista Records, we send our deepest sympathies and condolences to Jennifer and her family during this difficult time.”
Fox Studios, the company behind her latest film “The Secret Life of Bees,” issued the following statement on Monday: “Everyone at Fox Searchlight and Twentieth Century Fox wishes to extend our deepest condolences to Jennifer and her family. Our thoughts are with them in this time of profound sadness.”
Chicago police are calling the killings “domestic related” and have been questioning William Balfour, who is the estranged husband of Julia Hudson and is being held in state custody on a parole violation. Balfour is not the boy’s father and has not been charged in the slayings.
Balfour’s mother, Michele Balfour, has said Hudson’s mother kicked Balfour out of the family home last winter. She denied her son had anything to do with the killings.