[UPDATED 4:57 PM]
Arrow points to a bullet hole in the front door of the home owned by Jennifer Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson who was found shot to death yesterday. Police say the assailant fired through the door hitting Hudson’s brother Jason Hudson, 29 (inset). Donerson was shot when she entered the living room after hearing the shot. Police found Jason’s body in a bedroom. An autopsy completed today showed defensive wounds on his body. Hudson’s brother-in-law William Balfour, 27, is in police custody but he has not been charged in the murders. Jennifer Hudson visited the morgue overnight with family members to identify her mother and her brother. Hudson’s 7-year-old nephew Julian King is still missing. The FBI has been called in to help in the search for Julian. (Source)
[UPDATED 11:00 AM]
The body of Jennifer Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson was found by Jennifer Hudson’s sister Julia around 2:45 PM yesterday. Julia called 911 to report the shooting. She also reported her 7-year-old son missing. Police arriving on the scene found Hudson’s brother Jason shot to death in a bedroom. An Amber Alert issued for little Julian King is still in effect. Anyone who has seen a white Chevy Suburban with Illinois license plate X584859 is asked to call Chicago police immediately. (Source)
The suspect in the slayings of actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother is now in custody.
Police arrested William Balfour, 27, last night in Chicago. Balfour’s mother, Michelle, said her son had been married to Hudson’s sister, Julia, 29, for several years, but they were separated. She also said Donerson had ordered him to move out of the family’s home last winter.
A relative found the body of Darnell Donerson, 57, lying on her living room floor around 2:45 PM yesterday. Police arriving on the scene found the body of Jason Hudson, 27, in a bedroom of the home he shared with his mother. Both victims had been shot multiple times. The front door was unlocked.
Police made several arrests last night but no one has been charged in the case according to law enforcement sources who spoke to the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times. Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said investigators were talking to “a number of people in custody” but she declined to elaborate.
The whereabouts of Julia Hudson’s 7-year-old son, Julian King, is still unknown. An Amber Alert was issued for Julian yesterday. The boy was initially thought to be Balfour’s son, but Balfour was incarcerated during the time Julian was conceived.
Balfour was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison for attempted murder and car jacking in 1999. He was paroled in 2006. Julian was born in 2001.
Published reports indicated William may have stolen Julia’s car in recent weeks and was barred from the family home as a result. In a caption posted under a photo of her brother Jason, Julia noted that Jason was picking her up from her job where she worked as a school bus driver because, “William bitch ass sold my car.”
Paul Ciliano, a former Chicago police officer and CBS News consultant, said the Englewood neighborhood where the crimes were committed is “probably the toughest neighborhood in the city of Chicago.
“This is notoriously violent area, the most shootings and car hijackings and tough-and-rumble place on the South Side of Chicago,” he told Early Show anchor Priya David.
Members at the church where the tight-knit family worshiped said Jennifer Hudson offered to move her mother out of the area, but Donnerson refused to leave.
“These are such difficult times,” said the family’s pastor, Rev. Willie R. Davis, of the Progressive Baptist Church. “To lose a mother and a brother at one time — and then to lose them under these circumstances would be difficult for anyone. We just have to wait until the opportunity permits that we can sit down with them and have prayer. Jennifer is a very strong lady. She is deep-rooted in her faith. We know that through it all, she will get through.”
CBS News correspondent Cynthia Bowers reports that Hudson returned to Chicago last night after news of the deaths. But her sister Julia was still accepting friend requests on her Myspace page as recently as this morning. She is said to be “numb”.
Hudson recently announced her engagement to David Otunga, best known for his stint on VH1’s reality show “I Love New York.”
The star is asking for privacy in her time of grief. Her Web site jenniferhudsononline.com is already filled with condolence notes.
News sources 1 2 3
I will update this post throughout the day.
7-year-old Julian King is still missing
Jennifer Hudson, left, poses with her brother Jason, sister Julia, and half sister Dinah, far right
Jennifer, right, with brother-in-law William Balfour, who is suspected of killing her mother and brother
William Balfour in an undated photo
All photos: Myspace.com