Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman's step-granddaughter was stabbed sixteen times in Manhattan yesterday, according to police officials and his publicist.
Edena Hines, 33, an actress, was slain on West 162nd Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, near her Washington Heights apartment shortly before 3 a.m. Her live-in boyfriend, 30, was screaming Bible verses and standing over her body when police arrived, according to officials.
Medics rushed Hines to Harlem Hospital Center, where she was pronounced dead.
Police took Hines' boyfriend, whom they did not name, into custody, and he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center. No charges had been filed as of last night.
A witness said the man was trying to exorcise her of demons. Police had never responded to the couple's home regarding domestic issues in the past.
"The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer," Freeman said in a statement. "Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace."
Hines recently filmed an independent movie called "Landing Up" in Bushwick, and had recently moved back to New York from Memphis. She wrote on her blog that returning to New York to film the movie was a dream come true.
The grieving cast was stunned by her death. "We're just in shock, we're in total grief," said actress and screenwriter Stacey Maltin, 30, who penned the movie's script. "We really just can't believe that anyone would want to do this to her, that she was taken from the world in this way."
Maltin said she saw Hines on Thursday to talk about different writing ideas and projects. "She's so talented, so genuine, and in the moment, raw," she said. "She just gave everything when she was on set. She was never half there, she was always all there."
Hines studied at New York University's Graduate Acting Program, and had served on the board of a literary arts foundation called SonEdna, its website says.