CHICAGO – Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew was found dead in the back of an SUV on Monday, ending a frantic search that began after the shooting deaths of her mother and brother three days earlier.
The singer and actress was among seven family members and close friends who cried and held hands as they identified Julian King’s body from a live image on a television screen at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office Monday afternoon.
Chicago police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the boy, like his grandmother and uncle, had been shot. The medical examiner’s office planned an autopsy today.
Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said a motive remained unclear Monday but added, “It wasn’t a case of a stranger-type homicide.”
Police have characterized the slayings as “domestic related” and authorities have been questioning the boy’s estranged stepfather, William Balfour, who is being held in state custody on a parole violation. No one has been charged.
Julian’s body was found shortly after 7 a.m. in the SUV, about 10 miles from the home he shared with the other victims. The vehicle matched the one mentioned in an Amber Alert issued for Julian.
Hudson had offered $100,000 Sunday for information leading to the safe return of her nephew, the son of her sister, Julia Hudson. Hudson’s publicist did not immediately return calls and e-mail messages Monday.
“Miss Hudson wanted to request privacy,” Cook County spokesman Sean Howard said after the family left the medical examiner’s office. “This is a very trying time for her and her family.”