The murder weapon used to kill Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson's mom, brother and young nephew has been found, police in Chicago believe.
The gun was found by a detective searching land close to where the body of seven-year-old Julian King was discovered in a car last weekend.
Mother Darnell Donerson, 57, brother Jason Hudson, 29, and nephew Julian King, 7, are believed to have been killed with a .45-caliber weapon.
Technicians from the Illinois State Police crime lab will test the gun they found today against shell casings recovered at the crime scenes.
Nick Roti, deputy police chief, said a few other "small bits of evidence" were recovered in the thick shrubbery where the gun was found in a parking lot.
Police sent about 100 personnel to the area on the city's West Side after the breakthrough yesterday. Suspect William Balfour remains in custody.
The Dreamgirls star's family tragedy took place last Friday, when her mother and brother were found shot and killed at their home in Chicago.
That was when Julian King was reported missing, and Jennifer Hudson offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to his return.
A day later, the boy's body was found in the rear of a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban vehicle. He was shot at least once in the head.
William Balfour, the estranged husband of Hudson's sister (Julian's mom) Julia, is under investigation as the person of most interest in the case.
While he has not been charged with the killings, he has been arrested on parole violations, having just served seven years for attempted murder.