The family of Jennifer Hudson offered a $100,000 reward on Sunday (October 26) for the safe return of Hudson’s nephew, 7-year-old Julian King, who has been missing since Hudson’s mother and brother were fatally shot in Chicago on Friday.
The F.B.I. has joined the Chicago police in an intensive search for the boy, who also goes by the nicknames “Juice Box” and “Dr. King.”
Earlier on Sunday, less than 24 hours after her sister Julia publicly pleaded for the boy’s safe return , Hudson took to her MySpace blog to thank her fans for their support and ask that they help in the search. The post includes photos of the boy.
“Thank you all for your prayers and your calls,” the posting, signed by the Hudson family, reads. “Please keep praying for our family and that we get Julian King back home safely. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts please contact the authorities immediately. Here is a picture of Julian and what he was last seen wearing. Once again thank you all for being there for us through this tough time.”
In a statement released Sunday evening announcing the reward, the family asked that all inquiries be directed to the Chicago Police Department, Area 1 Detective Division at (312) 747-8380. “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,” the statement reads.
On Saturday, Democratic presidential nominee and fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama reacted to Hudson’s tragic news over the weekend, according to UsMagazine.com. Obama described the deaths as “heartbreaking” and said he was “trying to get a phone number to call her at this tragic time. She is somebody who has campaigned for me, she also lives in my community. So, we’re really going to have to … help her and pray for her and her family during this difficult time.”
Police have not yet charged anyone in the murders, but Hudson’s brother-in-law, William Balfour, who had lived at the residence in the past, is being held by Chicago police as a “person of interest” in the case. According to the Chicago Tribune, Balfour, 27, who recently separated from King’s mother, was found at his pregnant girlfriend’s house on the South Side of Chicago several hours after the bodies were discovered, but Julian King was not with him.
Balfour, on parole after serving seven years in prison for attempted murder and vehicular hijacking, was transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections on a violation of parole “independent of this investigation,” a spokesperson for the department told the Tribune. The spokesperson said Balfour violated his parole “due to the allegations made against him, that he is a person of interest in the homicides as well as the kidnapping.”