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Gun found during probe of Hudson killings

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Police: Testing needed to see if weapon is linked to slayings
  • NEW: Gun found within block of where 7-year-old's body discovered
  • Actress Jennifer Hudson's nephew, mother, brother killed
  • Child's stepfather was detained for questioning in relation to the killings
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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Chicago police on Wednesday found a handgun near where the body of one of actress Jennifer Hudson's three slain relatives was discovered this week.

An investigator picks up a gun discovered not far from where Jennifer Hudson's nephew was found slain.

Police said they recovered a weapon in an alley within a block of where Hudson's 7-year-old nephew, Julian King, was found dead in an SUV on Monday morning. Aerial footage of the scene taken by Chicago TV station WLS showed an investigator putting a pistol in a box.

A police spokesman said testing was needed to confirm whether the weapon was connected to the Hudson case.

Julian's body was found in an abandoned Chevrolet Suburban on Chicago's West Side. Police had begun a massive search for him on Friday, the day Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, were found slain in their South Side Chicago home.

All three victims died from multiple gunshot wounds, authorities said.

The pistol was found by one of 50 police academy recruits who were searching parts of the city for possible evidence in the case, Deputy Chief Nick Roti said.

The recruit spotted the weapon in the thick shrubbery of a vacant alley around the corner from where the sport-utility vehicle was found, Roti said.

The site where the SUV was found has turned into a makeshift memorial for Julian, Roti said. Stuffed animals and balloons were there Wednesday night.

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Julian was the son of Jennifer Hudson's sister, Julia Hudson, who police said found one of the bodies Friday and called police.

William Balfour, 27, who is Julian's stepfather and Julia Hudson's estranged husband, was detained Friday for questioning in connection with the slayings, a police representative said. Julian was not with Balfour when he was detained.

Balfour was later transferred to state custody for a parole violation. He spent nearly seven years in prison for attempted murder, carjacking and possession of a stolen vehicle and was released in May. Police have so far refused to discuss precisely how he violated parole.

Authorities said only that Balfour's parole violation was of a "technical" nature, which could range from a curfew violation to missing an appointment with a parole officer. WLS reported that Balfour missed an appointment with his parole agent Friday. The agent phoned Balfour, who told the agent he was baby-sitting, the station said.

The Family

Julian King, 7, was Jennifer Hudson's nephew and Julia Hudson's son

• Julia Hudson is Jennifer Hudson's sister and Julian's mother

• Julia Hudson's estranged husband is William Balfour, who is in police custody

• Michele Davis-Balfour is William Balfour's mother

Jennifer Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, and brother Jason Hudson were found shot to death Friday in Chicago

Balfour violated his parole by possessing a weapon and by failing to attend an anger management class and a substance abuse program, according to WLS.

Balfour also was arrested in June on suspicion of drug possession, officials said, but there was not enough evidence to constitute a parole violation. WLS reported that cocaine was found in Balfour's car.

On Tuesday night, Balfour's mother, Michele Davis-Balfour, told CNN's Nancy Grace her son had nothing to do with the slayings.

"My son's alibi was [he was] with one of his girlfriends, OK?" Davis-Balfour said.

When Grace asked which girlfriend he was with Friday, the mother said her son was with a woman named Diana on Friday night, and with a woman named Kate on Saturday morning.

A Tuesday autopsy report revealed Julian had been shot multiple times, but the Cook County Medical Examiner's report did not say when the child died and where his wounds were.

On Monday, Davis-Balfour spoke about the nature of her son's relationship with Julia Hudson.

On Julia Hudson's MySpace page Monday afternoon, she wrote: "Now because I chose to do what was natural to me and love someone, it cost me my beautiful family, my wonderful beautiful loving supporting mother, Darnell, my true blue baby brother, Jason, I love u big baby ... and last but never not least, my only son, Julian."

Davis-Balfour disputed that her son and Julia Hudson had a rocky relationship. Grace asked if the two were "romantically" involved, and Balfour answered that they were. Julia Hudson and her son were together Thursday night after she invited Balfour to celebrate her birthday by having cake.

"People don't understand what's going on. My son loved her. She loved him," Davis-Balfour said. "... Regardless to whatever anyone says, my son still loved Julia."

Davis-Balfour expressed anger that her son's picture has been splashed on media reports since Friday, though reports have been careful to point out that police have not named him as a suspect in the killings.

"You all have put my son's face on worldwide news like he's -- like he's Attila the Hun," Davis-Balfour said. "You all are not saying that my son obtained his GED while he was in the correctional facility. You all are not saying that my son took up horticulture while he was there. William is a very smart and intelligent young man." Video Watch Davis-Balfour talk about her son »

The mother also discussed her son's criminal past, elaborating on his carjacking and attempted murder charges.

"No, he has never done bodily harm to no one. He has never been the type of kid that you could say was a violent type," she said.

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"My son -- it was still in the man's car, right? The man saw my son starting his car. He ran outside, jumped on top of his own vehicle.

"This is why they said vehicle hijacking, because my son jumped -- the man jumped on top of the car while my son was stealing it, right? He stuck his hand inside the driver's side and started choking my son. So my son kept driving even more, took the owner of the vehicle on a high-speed ..." Davis-Balfour said.

Authorities said they are confident they will soon catch the killer.

"I suspect that we'll have some evidence that will link us to the killer," Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis said Tuesday.

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Police are collecting evidence from the SUV and reviewing surveillance tapes from all over the city as the investigation continues, Weis told reporters.

"There's a lot of work to be done. We'll be sure we go through this thoroughly," Weis said. Asked about possible motives, Weis replied, "We don't know what the motive really was at this time. But, clearly, you have people who do know each other, so it wasn't a case of a stranger-type homicide."

CNN's Susan Roesgen contributed to this report

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