Body of Black male child found in SUV involved in Hudson murders

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Oscar winning Jennifer Hudson offered a $100,000 reward Sunday for the safe return of her seven-year-old nephew who has been missing since last Friday.

Oscar winning Jennifer Hudson offered a $100,000 reward Sunday for the safe return of her seven-year-old nephew who has been missing since last Friday.

Julian King was reported missing Oct. 24, the same day his grandmother and uncle were found fatally shot in their Englewood home.

An Amber Alert was immediately issued for the boy.

But police are now looking into new developments in the case.

At 7:02 a.m. Monday, Chicago police were called about a suspicious vehicle parked in the 1300 block of South Kolin Avenue. Police confirmed the vehicle, a white Chevy Suburban, and its license plates, match the vehicle listed in the Amber Alert that was issued Friday. An African American male child’s body was found in the back seat of the vehicle, but police have not confirmed that it is the missing boy. Chicago police spokesperson Monique Bond would not confirm whether or not the unidentified boy was shot. According to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office, the body is pending identification by the family, and an autopsy will be performed Tuesday. Neighbors in the area where the vehicle and body were found have given conflicting reports about how long the vehicle has been parked at that location. Some said it had been sitting there since Friday. Others said it wasn’t noticed until Sunday. One man living near the 1300 block of South Tripp Avenue, blocks from where police found the vehicle, told the Defender that the SUV was not at the Kolin Street location Friday or Saturday. The man, who did not want to be identified, said the vehicle showed up sometime Sunday, and he almost crashed into it while driving his own car.

A relative arrived at the home in the 7000 block of South Yale Avenue shortly after 3 p.m. Friday and discovered the body of Darnell Donerson, 57. Jason Hudson, 29, Donerson’s son, was found a short time later after police arrived at the residence. Donerson is Jennifer Hudson’s mother, and Jason is her brother.

A bullet hole could be seen in the front door of the home.

Neighbors said they heard gunshots at about 8 a.m. but thought nothing of it. The sound of gunshots is normal in that area, they said.

King, who lived at the South Side home with his mother, his grandmother and uncle, was not in the home when the bodies were found. Also missing was Jason’s white Chevy Suburban.

An Amber Alert was issued, and the boy’s stepfather William Balfour is listed on the alert. The FBI has joined in the search for Julian.

Julia and Jennifer are sisters.

"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," a publicist said in a statement.

Ruth Nichols, a cousin of the Hudson’s, said the family is "devastated" and will "keep the faith" that Julian is found safe.

Balfour, a convicted felon on parole for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking, is the estranged husband of Julia Hudson.

He was arrested at his girlfriend’s home about an hour after the alert was issued, but the boy was nowhere to be found.

Balfour, 27, is now in the custody of the Ill. Dept. of Corrections for parole violation, but Chicago police said he remains a person of interest in the double homicide and possible kidnapping of Julian.

Januari Smith, a spokesperson for IDOC, said Balfour being named a person of interest is enough to hold him for a parole violation.

On Saturday at the Pleasant Gift M.B. Church on the South Side, the boy’s parents made a public plea for his return.

Greg King, Julian’s father, stood silently by Julia’s side as she made an emotional plea.

When asked outside of the church by the Defender and two local television reporters if he wanted to make a "father’s plea," King said, "I just want him home. That’s all that needs to be said."

Since the shootings, a memorial has grown outside the Hudson’s home, and residents have combed the neighborhood searching for the boy.

Andrew Holmes, a community activist, led a team of teenage boys on a search along the Metra train tracks and in abandoned buildings near the home.

The family said finding Julian would be their priority, and funeral arrangements for Donerson and Hudson will be made afterwards.

Police will reportedly hold a press conference Monday afternoon, possibly to discuss the identity of the young body found. ______ Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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