A promising lead surfaced Wednesday when Chicago Police found a gun in a rubbish-strewn lot just down the street from where the nephew of Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson was found shot to death in an SUV on Monday, authorities said.
The gun was found about 1:30 p.m. in a lot on 14th Street between Kildare and Kolin by three probationary officers during a search of the area near where the body of 7-year-old Julian King was found in a white Chevy Suburban.
The SUV was found in the 1300 block of South Kolin.
Julian and the SUV had been missing since Friday afternoon, when the boy’s mother, Julia Hudson, came home to find her mother, Darnell Donerson, 57, and her brother, Jason Hudson, 29, shot to death. Julia Hudson is Jennifer Hudson’s sister.
The gun and other evidence have been turned over to the Illinois State Police crime lab, Chicago Police Department Chief Nick Roti said.
The gun will be compared with shell casings recovered at the Hudson home in the 7000 block of South Yale. Sources said the gun used in the slayings of Donerson and Jason Hudson was thought to be a .45-caliber weapon.
Police spokeswoman Monique Bond refused to comment on the caliber of the gun found Wednesday. A law enforcement source said it appeared to be a .45-caliber gun.
Investigators were continuing to pursue evidence in the case. Julia Hudson’s estranged husband, William Balfour, 27, was arrested Friday after police tracked his whereabouts around the city. A Chicago Police alert issued hours after the bodies of Donerson and Jason Hudson were found named Balfour as a suspect in the killings and said he might be in the Suburban with Julian.
Since then, Balfour has been transferred to the custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections on a parole violation. He will remain there until at least Nov. 10, when the state prisoner review board will consider the violation. The violation stemmed from his failure to meet anger management and substance abuse counseling requirements of his 1999 sentencing for an attempted murder and vehicular carjacking conviction.
Balfour and Hudson were thought to have been arguing about several issues, including car payments and whether Julia Hudson was seeing someone else, sources said. Balfour is also thought to have been at the Hudson home early Friday, before the time neighbors say they heard shots fired between 8 and 9 a.m., sources said.
There are also reports from witnesses that he was seen later Friday morning — between 11 a.m. and noon — in a vehicle matching the description of the Chevy Suburban in the 1900 block of South Spaulding, where he was arrested later Friday.
Police are still gathering details about where Balfour was Friday and how he was getting around.
The leading theory is still that there was only one assailant inside the Hudson home.
Balfour has not been charged in the Hudson slayings.