Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jennifer Hudson identified slain mom's body

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson identified the the bodies of her mother and brother, who were killed last week in Chicago, the Cook County medical examiner's office told CNN on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Chicago police are handing out fliers as part of a massive search for the nephew of the actress.

Julian Hudson, 7, has not been seen since Friday, the same day Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found shot to death in their South Side Chicago home.

The sister of the actress made an emotional appeal Saturday for the safe return of her son.

"My greatest fear has already happened, my greatest hope is for having my child. I just want my son," Julia Balfour said. "That's all I have to say. Just let my baby go."

Police have Julia Balfour's husband, William Balfour, in custody. Chicago news station WLS reported Saturday that the boy was not with Balfour when he was detained.

Balfour's mother, Michele Davis-Balfour insisted Saturday 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," Davis-Balfour told WLS.

"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."

Police issued an Amber Alert for Julian and asked people to look out for a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859.

Julian is described as being 4-feet-11 and 130 pounds. He was wearing a striped brown polo shirt and khaki pants when last seen, authorities said in the Amber Alert.

Chicago police spokesman Daniel O'Brien would not comment Saturday on whether a William Balfour was in custody or whether police had questioned a man by that name.

"Police have and continue to speak with numerous" people, O'Brien said. He said no charges had been filed against anyone in connection with the murders. Watch the police news conference »

William Balfour says on his MySpace page that he is married to Jennifer Hudson's sister Julia and has a stepson.

"I might as well let you all know that Jennifer Hudson is my wife's sister I'm proud of her and wish her nothing but the best in what she do," he wrote.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Balfour, 27, is on parole. He spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possessing a stolen vehicle.

His MySpace page also says he lives on Chicago's South Side.

Deputy Police Chief Joseph Patterson said the bodies were found about 3 p.m. Friday (4 p.m. ET), when a relative arrived and found the body of a woman on the living room floor. The relative backed out of the house and called police, Patterson said. Authorities found a man shot to death in a bedroom.

The Cook County medical examiner's office said Saturday that Donerson and Jason Hudson suffered multiple gunshot wounds and ruled the deaths homicides.

The FBI is working with Chicago police to find Julian, Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said.

The FBI was brought in as a precaution because it would be possible to cross state lines in the amount of time the boy has been missing, which would make any abduction a federal crime, he said.

Neighbors reported hearing gunshots earlier Friday, Patterson said. Authorities found no signs of forced entry to the home and were not sure whether other items were missing.

"You've got two people who were killed inside a home. That alone will produce a great deal of evidence," Weis said of forensic evidence at the crime scene.

Hudson won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Effie in the film version of the Broadway musical "Dreamgirls." She competed on the third season of "American Idol" in 2004, making it to the top seven contestants before being eliminated from the contest.

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