Body of boy found in SUV on Chicago's West Side - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

CHICAGO (AP)

Body of boy found in SUV on Chicago's West Side

The SUV in which the child's body was found. The SUV in which the child's body was found.

Police have discovered the body of a child in Chicago but they have not confirmed if it is the missing nephew of "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson, officials said Monday.

Hudson's family had made a desperate plea for the safe return of the seven-year-old boy, Julian King, who vanished after his grandmother and uncle were murdered in their home on Friday.

A child's body was discovered on the city's west side, but the victim has not yet been identified, said William Taylor, a spokesman for the Cook County medical examiner's officer.

Local media report that police fear the child could be Hudson's nephew because the body was found in his uncle's missing white sports utility just blocks from where a suspect was arrested.

The boy's stepfather, William Balfour, is being held on a parole violation after he stopped cooperating with police but has not been charged.

Estranged from Hudson's older sister Julia, he has denied involvement in the murders or disappearance, law enforcement sources said.

Police believe Hudson's brother, Jason, 29, was shot through the door of the family home. The shooter then entered the home and kept firing, hitting Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson, 57, as she entered the room.

A family member discovered the bodies around 3:00 pm Friday but there was no sign of Julian.

Hudson's family offered a 100,000 dollar reward for Julian's safe return on Monday and posted photos of Julian on her website and MySpace page.

"Please keep praying for our family and that we get Julian King back home safely," the family said in a statement on Hudson's website.

"Jennifer and her family appreciate the enormous amount of love, support and prayers they have received while she and her family try to cope with this tragedy and continue the search for Julian."

At the weekend, Julia Hudson pleaded for the return of her son.

"Give me my baby back. That's all I ask," a tearful Julia Hudson, 31, told reporters Saturday at a Baptist church on the South Side of Chicago.

"I know he's out there. Put him on the side of the street. Just let him go."

She described Julian as an easygoing child who answers to "Juicebox" and "Dr. King" and likes to read and hang out with his grandmother.

Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson identified the bodies of her mother and brother at the morgue shortly after jetting back to her hometown from Florida late Friday.

The actress, whose star turn in "Dreamgirls" earned her an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007, was in Florida promoting her latest movie, "The Secret Life of Bees," when she got word of the tragedy.

Autopsies showed that the pair died from multiple gunshot wounds, the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office said Saturday.

Chicago police issued an Amber Alert, or child abduction bulletin, for King on Friday. On Saturday, authorities called in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to help with the search in case the boy had been taken over state lines.

"We're doing that as a precautionary measure," Chicago Police superintendent Jody Weis told CNN. Weis said the slayings and the child's disappearance appeared to be a domestic matter.

Chicago police took Balfour into custody for questioning on Friday and transferred him to a state facility on Sunday.

The 27-year-old baker has convictions for attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and possession of a stolen motor vehicle, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections. He was released from prison in May 2006 and is still on probation.

Balfour had split up with Julia Hudson and moved out of the home she shared with her mother and brother, friends and neighbors said.

Jennifer Hudson has shunned the spotlight since returning to the Windy City. The 27-year-old was riding high with a new movie and a number one hit on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop charts from her recently released self-titled debut album, until the family tragedy upended her life.

Powered by Frankly