Chicago police have now confirmed that the handgun they recovered Wednesday in the city's North Lawndale neighborhood is the weapon that was used last week in the slayings of singer/actress Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the gun, a .45-caliber Sig-Sauer semiautomatic pistol, was discovered in the bushes of a vacant lot on Chicago's West Side, just a block away from the site where the body of Hudson's nephew, Julian King, was found Monday. While police immediately suspected it was the gun that was used in the killings — because unfired bullets in the chamber matched the make and model of shell casings recovered at the murder scene — they couldn't confirm those suspicions until forensic testing was completed on the weapon.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had previously traced the recovered gun to its original owner, who lives in Michigan and had reported it stolen. Now, investigators are trying to trace the weapon's path from Michigan to Chicago.
The Hudson family is holding a memorial service at Pleasant Gift Memorial Baptist Church on Monday for Hudson's mother, 57-year-old Darnell Donerson, her brother, 29-year-old Jason Hudson, and King. After the private service at 3 p.m., the service will be open to the public from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Hudson and her sister, Julia, are not expected to attend.
The family has also formed a foundation for the families of murder victims. In a statement released Thursday announcing the Hudson-King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims, the family said, "The specific purpose of the foundation is to care for the needs of families who have lost relatives to a violent crime. This encompasses their basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, as well as grief counseling."
The investigation into last week's murders continues, with William Balfour, the estranged husband of Julia Hudson, the only suspect. While he has not been charged with a specific crime, he remains in police custody as a "person of interest." Detectives are trying to uncover evidence that will link Balfour to the murders and are also exploring the possibility that the killer did not act alone.