Public Memorial Set for Jennifer Hudson's Family
The Chicago service is open to anyone who wants to pay respects to the singer's slain relatives
A public memorial service for Jennifer Hudson‘s slain mother, brother and nephew is planned for Sunday at the South Side Chicago church where the Oscar-winner grew up singing.
“The Hudson family welcomes anyone who wishes to attend and pay their respects to these three beloved members of the Chicago community,” reads a statement from Hudson’s rep.
Neither the singer-actress nor her sister, Julia, the mother of slain 7-year-old Julian King, are expected to attend the public observance.
The service will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church, located at 4526 S. Greenwood in Chicago. The memorial will be preceded by a private service.
Police continue to investigate the deaths of Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson, 57, and brother Jason Hudson, 29. Both were found shot to death Oct. 24 in the home where Jennifer grew up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. The body of Jennifer’s nephew Julian, who police believe was taken from the home at the time of the attacks, was found Oct. 27 in an abandoned Chevrolet Suburban after a three-day search. He had been fatally shot.
Police, who recovered a .45-caliber handgun about a block from the SUV, later described the weapon as the same one used in the killings of the other family members.
Julia’s estranged husband William Balfour, 27, was arrested the day the killings were discovered and remains in jail on alleged parole violation. He has not been charged, though police say he is a “person of interest” in the case.
Jennifer and Julia Hudson have established the Hudson King Foundation for Families of Slain Victims in honor of their family members. “The specific purpose of the Foundation is to care for the needs of families who have lost relatives to a violent crime,” according to the announcement on Jennifer’s MySpace page. She also tells her fans, “Thank you for your continued support.”