Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother have been shot dead.

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The Oscar-winning actress’ two family members – mother Darnell Donerson, 57, and 29-year-old sibling Jason Hudson – were brutally slain on Friday (25.10.08) in their Chicago home. Their bodies were discovered by Jennifer’s sister Julia Hudson.

The Dreamgirls star’s representative Lisa Kasteler said: “We can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation concerning the deaths of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, and her brother, Jason Hudson. No further comment will be made and the family has asked that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

Upon hearing the tragic news 27-year-old Jennifer, who was reported to have started “screaming”, immediately flew to Chicago from Tampa, Florida.

Police are also searching for Jennifer’s nephew, Julia’s seven-year-old son Julian King, who had been staying at his grandmother’s house in the city’s
South Side district and is currently missing.

Jennifer’s brother-in-law William Balfour – Julia’s estranged husband – is currently in custody and is being questioned about the double-murder and the
boy’s disappearance.

At the time of writing, police had confirmed 27-year-old William, who served seven years in prison for attempted murder and carjacking in 1999, is a
suspect for the killings but is yet to be charged.

He was arrested just a few hours after the bodies were found – Darnell in the living room with a gun shot to her head and Jason, who had been blasted in the chest, in a bedroom.

Julia has issued an emotional plea for the return of her son.

She said: “I don’t care who you are, just let the baby go. I just want my son. He doesn’t deserve this. I don’t know what else to do but pray.”

Police have revealed they are talking to several other people in connection to the incident.