Mother of ‘Dreamgirls’ actress found murdered

The mother and brother of the Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found murdered at their home in Chicago yesterday.

Police confirmed two people had been shot dead but did not identify them. However, media reports said her brother Jason Hudson, a mechanic, and mother, Darnell Donerson, had both been killed, citing police sources and neighbours.

A seven-year-old child was missing from the house in Chicago’s South Side, along with a 1994 Chevrolet Suburban car. The child is believed to be Hudson’s nephew, Julian King. Police were said to be searching for a suspect named William Balfour.

Hudson, who won an Oscar for her role in the film Dreamgirls, was not hurt, her bodyguard said. It is unclear whether she was in the house. A spokesman for the Cook County |coroner’s office said one of the victims was a woman in her 50s who was shot in the head and the other was a 29-year-old man, who was shot in the chest. At least one of the victims had defensive wounds.

A spokeswoman for Chicago Police could only say at least one victim was “believed to be” a relative of Jennifer Hudson. She added that the shooting was thought to be related to a domestic disturbance, but stressed that this was preliminary information.

There were also reports that firefighters had been called to the house and summoned the police after finding the bodies. Public records list a Jennifer Hudson and Darnell Donerson as living at the address.

Hudson is currently at No 12 in the UK singles chart with her song called “Spotlight”. She first came to public attention as a singer when she was a finalist on the show American Idol in 2004 and she went on to play Effie White in the 2006 film adaptation of the musical Dreamgirls, alongside Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Eddie Murphy. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, a Bafta and a Golden Globe Award for her performance.