I know this is partially old news by now but for the last couple of weeks I have been out of the country totally out of touch with recent news. While I was at the airport late last night I was reading the front pages at one of the newsstands to learn former American Idol contestant Jennifer Hudson had offered a $100,000 reward for the safe return of her seven-year-old nephew following the murder of Hudson’s mother and brother in Chicago. Unfortunately, the story has taken a sad turn. Authorities confirm that the body of a seven-year-old boy found in a vehicle similar to the one for which authorities issued an Amber Alert is Hudson’s nephew, Julian King. The body and vehicle were found in Upper Chicago on Monday morning, not far from where police apprehended the suspect in the murders of Hudson’s mother and brother. Police have declined comment on the boy’s identity. Late last Friday, the bodies of Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were discovered shot to death in their Chicago home. Police reportedly have a suspect in custody, Hudson’s brother-in-law and King’s father, William Balfour. No charges have been filed in the case, but Balfour is being held for violating his parole while authorities investigate. Julian’s mother, Julia Hudson, had pleaded for her son’s return, saying “All I ask, I don’t care who you are, just let my baby go. I just want my son back. He doesn’t deserve this.”
Condolences have been flooding in for Hudson in the wake of this tragedy, including a message from Barack Obama. “Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedy and we want Jennifer to know that she is in our thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. We also pray for the swift and safe return of her young nephew,” Obama said in a statement.