Chicago police say the body of a child found on Monday has been identified as Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson’s seven-year-old nephew.

Julian King had been missing since Friday, when the mother and brother of American Idol star turned Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson were found shot dead at their home in Chicago.

Jennifer had offered 100,000 dollars (£64,574) for information leading to her nephew’s safe return but was asked to identify a boy’s body at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office on Monday afternoon.

Julian had been the subject of a frantic search since the killings, which Chicago police have characterised as ‘domestic related’.

Authorities have been questioning Jennifer’s sister’s estranged husband, who is being held in state custody on a parole violation but as yet no one has been charged over the killings.

Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul, who were judges when Jennifer took part in the American Idol contest back in 2004, have expressed their horror over the tragic murders.

“I was horrified when I heard the news,” Simon told Extra in an interview from London. “This is an appalling tragedy. My thoughts right now are with Jennifer, and her family.”

“This is a horrific tragedy and my thoughts and prayers go out to Jennifer and her entire family,” said Paula. “The time I had to get to know Jennifer and forge a wonderful friendship with her while she was on Idol was very special to me, and I personally can’t imagine a greater loss for any family.”