October 26, 2008 / 12:58 AM / 12 years ago

FBI to help find Jennifer Hudson's nephew

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago police asked the FBI on Saturday to help find the missing 7-year-old nephew of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson after her mother and brother were found shot to death a day earlier.

Singer Jennifer Hudson sings the national anthem on the final day of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, August 28, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Julian King has been missing since Friday when Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother Jason Hudson, 29, were found dead in Donerson’s south side Chicago home.

“Let my baby go,” Hudson’s sister Julia told reporters. She appeared at a news conference along with the boy’s father, Greg King.

Chicago police spokesman Daniel O’Brien said the FBI had been asked to help in the search in case the boy had been taken across state lines, in violation of federal kidnap laws.

O’Brien declined to confirm various media reports that police had taken William Balfour into custody as a suspect in the double homicide investigation. Balfour, 27, had a relationship with Hudson’s sister Julia but is not the father of the missing boy. Balfour’s mother said earlier her son and Julia were estranged and that he had nothing to do with the slayings.

The Illinois Department of Corrections website lists Balfour as having been convicted of attempted murder, car theft and vehicular hijacking. He was released from prison in 2006.

O’Brien said more than one person had been questioned but that no one had been charged with a crime. He did not release any names. On Friday, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said of the murders, “It appears to be domestic related.”

Hudson gained fame in 2005 as a contestant on the No. 1-rated U.S. television show “American Idol.” She was one of 12 finalists in the third season but was voted off the talent show.

Her booming voice and popularity kept her touring in live shows and she eventually earned the role of Effie White in the 2006 film version of the stage musical “Dreamgirls.”

The role of soulful singer White, who is kicked out of an all-girl 1960s singing group, earned Hudson the Oscar for best supporting actress and made her an instant star in Hollywood.

Hudson has since appeared in the movie version of “Sex and the City” and is currently in “The Secret Life of Bees.” Media reports said Hudson was in Florida when she was told of the shootings and was headed back to Chicago.

Additional reporting by Michael Conlon; Editing by Peter Cooney

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