x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Jennifer Hudson's mother and brother shot dead

Police are still looking for a missing child who is the nephew of the Oscar-winning actress.

The actress Jennifer Hudson attends a gala screening of
The actress Jennifer Hudson attends a gala screening of "The Secret Life Of Bees" during the Toronto International Film Festival.

CHICAGO // The mother and brother of Jennifer Hudson were found shot dead yesterday at a Chicago home, and police were looking for a missing child who is the nephew of the singer and Oscar-winning actress. A man suspected in the deaths was in custody last night, but the 7-year-old boy had not been located, according to reports. William Balfour was being questioned, but Julian King's whereabouts are not known, law enforcement sources told the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Balfour has not been charged. Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said investigators were talking to "a number of people in custody" but she declined to elaborate. A missing child alert issued yesterday said Mr Balfour was a suspect in the double homicide of Darnell Donerson, 57, and Jason Hudson, 29, whose bodies were found yesterday afternoon. Jennifer Hudson's personal publicist, Lisa Kasteler, confirmed the deaths. "We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation concerning the deaths of Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson," Ms Kasteler said in a statement. "No further comment will be made and the family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time." The deaths appeared to be the result of domestic abuse, Ms Bond said. The Cook County medical examiner's office said autopsies for Ms Donerson and Jason Hudson were pending. Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson said a family member entered the home around 3 pm yesterday, found a woman shot on the living room floor and left to notify authorities. Responding officers found a man shot in the bedroom, Mr Patterson said. There was no sign of forced entry. Police tape blocked access to the large, white house, where a crowd gathered outside. Investigators with dogs and flashlights searched foliage surrounding a church that faces the home. The tragedy comes as Ms Hudson, who grew up in Chicago, continues to reach new heights in her career. Her song Spotlight is No. 1 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts and her recently released, self-tiled debut album has been a top seller. She was featured in this year's blockbuster Sex and the Cit" movie and is also starring in the hit film The Secret Life of Bees. She won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007 for her role in Dreamgirls. In an interview last year with Vogue, Ms Hudson credited her mother with encouraging her to audition for "American Idol", which launched her career. The singer, whose father died when she was a teenager, described herself as very close to her family.

*AP