Jennifer Hudson ID’d nephew Julian King’s body in Chicago
Police have identified the body of a young boy discovered in an SUV in Chicago as Jennifer Hudson‘s missing nephew Julian King, police Supt. Jody Weis said Monday.
The body was discovered “in the rear seat” of a white Chevrolet Suburban on Chicago’s West Side Monday morning, according to the Chicago Police Department. He suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to reports.
Immediately following the news of the body’s discovery, Hudson’s family members organized a church vigil. Several family members visited the medical examiner’s office Monday afternoon.
King, 7, went missing Friday after an unidentified assailant fatally shot Hudson’s mother Darnell and brother Jason. Over the weekend, Hudson offered $100,000for the safe return of her nephew.
When police issued an Amber Alert for Julian on Friday, they identified a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859 as connected to the case.
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.”
The Chicago Tribune reports that bullet casings were found in the boy’s room on Friday.
Boy’s Stepfather Being Held
King’s stepfather, William Balfour, is being held on a parole violation after he stopped cooperating with police but has not been charged with a crime. He was taken into custody at a girlfriend’s home hours after the bodies of Hudson’s mother and brother were found.
Sources tell the Associated Press that the girlfriend contradicted his alibi. Police were able to track his whereabouts Friday through cell phone records, sources said.
Police Supt. Weis told reports he was “pretty optimistic” about finding the person responsible for the crimes. “[We’ve”] got two crime scenes. Oftentimes there’s lots of evidence left at a crimes scene so I’m very confident that our forensic technicians will go through both areas with a fine-toothed comb, and I suspect there will be some evidence that will link us to the killer.”
Asked about Balfour, Weis said, “We are following any lead that we can get right now. He’s a person of interest, but that’s not to say that there’s not other individuals that may turn up. Right now we are just following the facts we have and we are following the evidence we have.”
Police have not recovered a weapon connected to King’s death.
Also Monday, Fox Studios issued a statement regarding the tragic weekend. “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.”
The Oscar-winning actress and singer, who grew up in the Windy City, journeyed to the coroner’s office, where the body of little Julian King lay on a gurney covered with a white sheet.
For Hudson, whose mother and brother were found slain Friday, it brought the devastating death toll in her family to three.
Still, she did not buckle under the grief: “She was just brilliant and strong,” Howard said.
“Her last words to me were, ‘Just tell the general public once again to respect my family’s privacy.'”
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Hudson said her faith in Jesus Christ “was going to get her through that,” Howard said. “Those were her words.”
As she left the facility, Hudson’s bodyguards held umbrellas to hide her anguish.
Nobody has been charged with the murders, but cops are holding William (Flex) Balfour, 27, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister Julia, at a state prison for a parole violation.
“We’re following any lead we can get right now,” said city Police Superintendent Jody Weis.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Julian had been shot once in the head and was dressed in basketball shorts and a stained white T-shirt.
Jennifer Hudson, 27, who won an Oscar for her role in “Dreamgirls,” and had remained tight with her family, immediately flew home and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to Julian’s safe return.
The hope that he was still alive was dashed Monday morning when Julian was found on the floor of a Chevy Suburban truck that had belonged to his murdered uncle.
Balfour, Julian’s stepdad, has a long rap sheet: He has spent nearly seven years behind bars for attempted murder, vehicle hijacking and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Out on parole, he was shacked up with another woman in a violent, drug-infested neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago near where Julian was found.
“He’s like a cool little cat,” an upstairs neighbor of Balfour’s girlfriend said of the ex-con.
It was a dog walker who spotted the suspicious truck and called the cops, and it matched the one sought in an Amber Alert issued after Friday’s double murder.
As police searched weed-strewn vacant lots and alleys, neighbors said they noticed the truck Sunday.
“I’d seen it out there three or four times Monday,” one woman, who would not give her name, said. She could not explain why she didn’t call police.