- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 25, 2008

From combined dispatches

CHICAGO | The mother and brother of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found fatally shot in the mother’s Chicago home Friday.

Miss Hudson‘s personal publicist said Chicago police are investigating the deaths of Darnell Donerson and Jason Hudson, who were found dead at their South Side home. Lisa Kasteler said Friday that the singer-actress would have no further comment.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Miss Hudson’s nephew, 7-year-old Julian King, who was missing from the house on Chicago’s South Side where the victims were found.

Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the deaths appeared to be the result of domestic abuse. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office did not immediately identify the victims.

Deputy Chief Joseph Patterson said a family member entered the home about 3 p.m. Friday, found a woman shot on the living room floor and left to notify authorities. Responding officers found a man shot in the bedroom, Deputy Chief Patterson said.

“A missing child was possibly abducted from the scene … and may be in the company of William Balfour,” a suspect in the killings, police said in a statement, adding that the man was “considered armed and dangerous.” It did not elaborate on who Mr. Balfour was or his ties to the family.

Authorities said they think Mr. Balfour and Julian are in either a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban or a teal or green Chrysler Concord with a temporary license plate, a left front headlight hanging out and scratches on the left side of the vehicle.

There was no sign of forced entry at the home. Neighbors reported hearing shots in the area during the morning.

Media reports said Miss Hudson was in Florida when she was told of the shootings and was headed back to Chicago.

Miss Hudson gained notice as a contestant on top-rated TV talent show “American Idol” during its third season in 2005. She was one of 12 finalists but was voted off the show.

Still, her booming voice and popularity kept her touring in live shows and eventually she earned the role as Effie White in the 2006 film version of stage musical “Dreamgirls.” The role of soulful singer who is kicked out of an all-girl 1960s singing group earned Miss Hudson the Oscar for best supporting actress and made her an instant star.

Since then, she has appeared in the movie version of “Sex and the City,” is featured in the current hit film “The Secret Life of Bees” and has released a self-titled album featuring the song “Spotlight,” which tops Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts this week.

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