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Police find child’s body in Hudson car

POLICE in Chicago found the body of a boy in an SUV they believe to be that of the seven-year-old nephew of actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.

Police are also investigating the shooting dead of Ms Hudson’s mother and brother.

Commander Wayne Gulliford of the Chicago police told reporters at a news conference yesterday that the SUV matched the one they sought in an Amber Alert issued after the killings. Mr Gulliford said the police were waiting for a medical examiner report that would identify the body.

Julian King, Ms Hudson’s nephew, has been missing since Friday, when Ms Hudson’s mother and brother were found, at about 3pm, shot dead in their Chicago home. Julian is believed to have been home at the time of the shooting. Ms Hudson has offered a $100,000 (€80,000) reward for his safe return. The FBI and local police authorities had been searching for a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban belonging to Ms Hudson’s brother, Jason, that was taken from the home after the shootings. That car, with the body of a boy, was found on the city’s west side after a resident reported a suspicious vehicle.

Julian is the son of Ms Hudson’s older sister, Julia. William Balfour, the boy’s estranged stepfather and former husband of Julia Hudson, has been named as a “person of interest” in the case, but has not been charged.

On Sunday, he was taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Corrections for a parole violation. He has convictions for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to the department.

Jennifer Hudson, whose performance in Dreamgirls earned her the Oscar for best supporting actress, had been on a promotional tour in Florida for her latest movie, The Secret Lives of Bees, when she received word of the killings.

She had been scheduled to leave on Monday for a world tour for her self-titled debut album, which includes the single Spotlight, which reached number one on Billboard’s R&B charts.

On Saturday, Julia Hudson called for the return of her son in a tearful plea.

“All I ask, I don’t care who you are, just let the baby go,” she said, from the podium of the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago where her sister used to sing.

“Please keep praying for our family and that we get Julian back home safely,” Jennifer said in a Sunday posting on MySpace.


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