On Monday night, about 100 supporters gathered outside the Hudson family home to mourn the loss of Jennifer Hudson's loved ones after the Academy Award-winning actress identified the body of her 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Monday's events marked the beginning of a long road to recovery and healing for Jennifer, whose mother, brother and nephew were found shot to death. Julian, the son of Jennifer's sister Julia Hudson, suffered multiple gunshot wounds. His body was reportedly found slumped in the backseat of the family's missing Chevrolet Suburban just 14 miles from Jennifer's mom's South Side home.
The confirmation of Julian's death follows an Amber Alert that was released on Friday after the discoveries of his grandmother Darnell Donerson, 57, and uncle Jason Hudson, 29, in their Englewood home.
Although William Balfour, Julian's estranged stepfather, was brought in for questioning on Friday, he refused to respond to any questions when a polygraph test was suggested, reports the Tribune. To date, no charges have been filed against him in relation to the triple homicide. However, Balfour was detained and remains in police custody at Stateville Correctional Center for a parole violation. According to the Tribune, Julia told police that Balfour threatened to kill her should he find out she had another boyfriend, despite having several girlfriends himself. The Tribune also reports that sources claim Julia's mother and brother had thrown Balfour out of the family home in the past.
This tragic news comes at a time when Chicago's murder rates have surpassed New York and Los Angeles and are expected to exceed 500 killings by year's end. Gang-related violence in Chicago is at an all-time high and the city will receive only 200 new officers to replace a reported 450 to 600 policemen to retirement this year.
Julia left a heartbreaking post on her MySpace page about the deaths of her mother, brother and son: "When I started my MySpace, all of the above was true. Now, because I chose to do what was natural to me and love someone, it cost me my beautiful family," she writes. "It cost me my beautiful, loving, supporting mother, Darnell, my true blue baby brother Jason-I love you baby - and last but not never least, my only son, Julian, my innocent baby."