US police find gun used in Hudson killings

Police said they found the gun used to kill Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew, as Chicago’s South Side community prepared for a memorial service.

The .45-calibre gun was discovered on Wednesday on a vacant site in the West Side neighbourhood where the body of Hudson’s seven-year-old nephew Julian King was found a few days earlier inside an SUV. The bodies of Hudson’s 57-year-old mother Darnell Donerson and her 29-year-old brother Jason Hudson were discovered in the family’s home last Friday.

“The weapon has been positively identified through forensic examination as the weapon that was used in the homicides,” Superintendent Jody Weis said.

Police were “extraordinarily pleased and satisfied” the weapon had been identified, but much work remained in the case, he added.

A police official said detectives thought Hudson’s nephew was alive when he left the house where his relatives were killed and was probably shot in the SUV where his body was found.

Nobody has been charged over the killings, but police have called 27-year-old William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson’s sister, who is in custody on a parole violation, a “person of interest”.

News linking the gun to the killings comes as the South Side church where Hudson spent her childhood prepares for a memorial service honouring the three murder victims. Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church is also where Hudson’s sister Julia made an emotional plea for Julian’s return the day after he disappeared and his relatives were found shot dead.

The Hudson sisters will not attend tomorrow’s community memorial, which will be open to the public, according to Hudson’s publicist.

Funeral services for Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew will be held on Monday. The private service will be held at Apostolic Church of God on Chicago’s South Side.

The Hudson sisters have established the Hudson-King Foundation to help other victims of violent crime.

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