The Hudson family is offering a $100,000 reward for the return of Julian King, the missing son of Julia Hudson and nephew of Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, a spokesperson for the star said in a statement issued on Sunday.
“Jennifer Hudson and her family are offering a reward of $100,000 for the safe return of her nephew Julian King who has been missing since Friday, October 24th,” the spokesperson said in the statement. “We ask 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.”
Jennifer’s fiance, David “Punk” Otunga, joined the call for help on Sunday, posting a message on his MySpace page saying “[Julian is] a sweet, innocent child who doesn’t deserve this. Please keep your eyes open for him.”
Julian, 7, was discovered missing on Friday afternoon as news broke that Jennifer’s mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason, had been shot and killed. The FBI has been called in to assist in the search, according to reports.
An Amber Alert was issued on Friday, for the boy. At the time, authorities believed Julian might have been with his stepfather, William Balfour, who police were also seeking at the time. Balfour was apprehended by authorities late Friday night, but the boy was not found with him.
Over the weekend, Balfour was transferred to the Illinois Department of Corrections on Sunday due to parole violations, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Balfour has reportedly been on parole since 2006, after serving almost seven years in jail for convictions on attempted murder, vehicular hijacking and receiving stolen property. Balfour’s transfer is reportedly unrelated to the murders or kidnapping investigation, and no charges have been filed against him.
The Sun-Times reported that Balfour was believed to be near the Hudson residence on the South Side of Chicago, where he reportedly once resided as well, at about 9 AM on Friday – when the neighbors reported hearing gunfire.
His mother, Michele Davis Balfour, defended her son for the second day in a row on Sunday, telling the Sun-Times that she did not believe he was involved in the killings. However, she reportedly noted the separation between Balfour and his wife, Julia Hudson, and she also said her son had spoken of divorce two weeks ago.