Slain cook's loved ones hope for arrest in case

November 7, 2011 (CHICAGO)

The mother of Hudgins' children is hoping someone will come forward with a new lead in the case

Hudgins maintains a presence at Alice's Barbeque. The painting on the front window wishing that he rest in peace is a tribute to him, and inside the corner store his obituary is posted on the glass. The 34-year-old, who worked at Alice's as a cook, had just stepped outside for a cigarette when the shots rang out.

"This man was 34 years old, had plenty of life ahead of him and he was stolen from us. He was robbed," said Charlene Kendrick, former girlfriend.

Kendrick is the mother of two of his three children. She says Hudgins was a devoted father who dreamed of someday opening up his own barbeque restaurant.

Investigators say the night of the shooting back in July, Hudgins was not the intended target and that it may have been someone he was talking to. The shooter may have been in a silver or grey car.

Kendrick has returned to the restaurant every few weeks to hand out flyers asking anyone with information about the incident to come forward.

"If you know anything, just think of it being someone in your life and your family that's going through this," she said.

"I pray to God somebody has the courage to come forward and they nail this thing," said Gregory Johnson, owner, Alice's Barbeque.

Johnson hired Hudgins several years ago and says he became his best cook. He says business slowed after the shooting, but it's starting to pick up again.

Still, returning to normal for Hudgins' loved ones is a process that begins once an arrest is made. It's something Kendrick hopes her children will see soon.

"I just want to be able to tell them one day that the person that did this to their father is paying their dues," she said.

Kendrick says Hudgins' children, ages 10, 6 and 5, are in counseling and taking his loss pretty hard.

CrimeStoppers is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.

Chicago police say this investigation is ongoing and they are pursuing leads.

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