Police have identified a boy's body found in a car in Chicago as that of actress Jennifer Hudson's nephew.

Julian King, seven, had been missing since Friday when Hudson's mother and brother were found dead in their Chicago home with gunshot wounds.

After the Oscar-winner and her family offered a $100,000 (£64,770) reward for the safe return of Julian, police confirmed his body had been found dead in a sports utility vehicle.

Hudson, 27, was called upon to identify her nephew's body, but no information has yet been issued about the manner of his death.

"Today a family and community are grieving but we want them to take comfort in knowing Chicago police and detectives will continue to work around the clock to make sure that justice is served," said Superintendent Jody Weis, adding that no-one has yet been charged.

The body of Hudson's mother, Darnell Donerson, was found in her Chicago living room on Saturday while her brother, Jason Hudson, was found dead in a bedroom in the house.

Both bodies had fatal gunshot wounds and there were no signs of forced entry into the house, investigators added.

William Balfour, stepfather of Julian King, has been arrested though no charges have been laid.

Balfour was transferred from police custody to the Illinois Department of Corrections on Sunday, "based on his active parole violation unrelated to this investigation," a corrections spokeswoman was quoted by the AP news agency as saying.

Jennifer Hudson's career was launched after her appearance as a contestant on American Idol in 2005.

She then won an Oscar for her performance in Dreamgirls and was also seen in hit film Sex And The City.

28/10/2008 09:20:21