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Hudson Murders Suspect in Custody; 7-Year-Old Still Missing

By Jen Chung in News on Oct 25, 2008 2:57PM

Photograph outside Jennifer Hudson's and her mother Darnell Donerson's house from the AP

Police are questioning a man suspected of killing the mother and brother of singer-actress Jennifer Hudson in an Englewood home. The Chicago Police are also searching for Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, who is missing since another relative went by the house and found the bodies of Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29, yesterday afternoon.

2008_10_hudson2.jpgWilliam Balfour, believed to be married to Hudson's older sister Julia, was found last night, arrested and taken into custody. It was thought he may have taken Julia's son Julian, but Julian was not with him. Balfour has not been charged with any crime yet (therefore, the Trib doesn't name him in its story); he is currently on parole, after serving time for attempted murder. His mother Michele Davis Balfour told the Sun-Times, "I'm not going to let them put my son down. My son had nothing to do with this... and I'm very upset with the police because they are refusing to let me see my son." Balfour Davis also pleaded for the return of 7-year-old Julian King. The boy is described as being around 4'11", 130 pounds and was last seen wearing a striped polo shirt and khaki pants.

Police believe a domestic dispute led to the shootings; neighbors apparently heard gunshots around 9 a.m. yesterday. Donerson was found, shot in the head, in the living room and Jason Hudson was found, shot in the chest, in an upstairs bedroom. There were no signs of forced entry, and "at least one of the victims had defensive wounds," according to the NY Daily News. TMZ reported, "Lost in all this is Jennifer's sister Julia, mother of the missing 7-year-old. We're told she works as a bus driver in Chicago. Her employer told us she worked her shift today. She hasn't been seen since. "

Jennifer Hudson's publicist issued a statement, confirming the investigation, "No further comment will be made and the family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time." The Oscar-winning performer, who is believed to be flying back to Chicago, had once said about her family, hometown and fame, "My faith in God and my family, they're very realistic and very normal, they're not into the whole limelight kind of thing, so when I go home to Chicago that's just another place that's home. I stand in line with everybody else, or, when I go home to my mom I'm just Jennifer, (so she says), 'You get up and you take care of your own stuff.' And I love that; I don't like when people tell you everything you want to hear, I want to hear the truth, you know what I mean."

Update I: According to TMZ, the police are investigating whether a dispute over a car led to the killings, "TMZ has spoken with several other neighbors this morning who say Julia complained to them that William Balfour sold one of their cars without permission. One neighbor told TMZ the dispute got so heated William threatened to 'kill Julia's family' but she didn't report it because she didn't take it seriously."

Update II: TMZ has spoken to the Cook County ME's office, which says Donerson's and Jason Hudson's bodies had multiple gunshot wounds.