October 27, 2008 / 10:33 AM / 10 years ago

Body of Jennifer Hudson's nephew found

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Police found the body on Monday of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew, who had been missing since Hudson’s mother and brother were slain last week.

Julian King in an undated photo. Chicago police asked the FBI on Saturday to help find the missing 7-year-old nephew of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson after her mother and brother were found shot to death a day earlier. REUTERS/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children/Handout

Julian King’s body had been left in the back seat of a stolen car found abandoned on a Chicago street.

The discovery ended a search that began on Friday after a family member found the body of Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother Jason Hudson, 29, both shot dead in the family home.

The vehicle in which the boy’s body was found belonged to Jason Hudson and had been missing since the slayings.

“We’re following any lead we can get right now,” Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis told a news conference.

He declined to say how the boy died.

A memorial stands outside the home of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois October 27, 2008. REUTERS/Frank Polich

Police said at the start of the investigation Friday that the slayings appeared to be part of a domestic disturbance, but Weis declined to speculate on a motive.

Weis confirmed that William Balfour, 27, had been taken into custody and was being held for a parole violation, and that he remained a “person of interest” in the case.

Balfour had a relationship with Hudson’s sister Julia but is not the father of the missing boy. Balfour’s mother said earlier her son and Julia were estranged and that he had nothing to do with the slayings.

Balfour was released from prison in 2006 after serving seven years on convictions for attempted murder, car theft and vehicular hijacking. An Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman said Balfour was sent back to prison on Sunday.

Hudson gained fame as a contestant in 2005 on the top-rated U.S. television show “American Idol.” She placed seventh in the show’s third season.

But her booming voice and popularity kept her touring in live shows and she earned the role of Effie White in the 2006 film version of the stage musical “Dreamgirls.”

The role of soulful singer White, who is kicked out of an all-girl 1960s singing group, earned Hudson the Oscar for best supporting actress and made her a sought-after Hollywood star.

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Hudson has since appeared in the movie version of “Sex and the City” and is currently in “The Secret Life of Bees.”

Reporting by Michael Conlon and Andrew Stern; Editing by Philip Barbara

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