updated 10/27/2008 AT 2:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/27/2008 AT 4:55 PM ET
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 $100,000 for 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.”
Reporting by PAUL CHI
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