Susan Powell and her father-in-law, Steven Powell
Hardman Photography/AP; ABC News
09/26/2011 AT 11:20 AM EDT
The father-in-law of missing Utah woman Susan Powell
was sexually obsessed with her for years and couldn't stop talking about her, according to a longtime friend in whom he would confide.
Sandy Crain Anderson says Steven Powell, who was arrested last week
on child-pornography charges, became infatuated with Susan shortly after his son married her in 2001 and would often speak "about how great she was, how beautiful she was," the Salt Lake Tribune
"He was hung up on her sexually, it seemed," says Anderson, adding that Powell was also addicted to pornography. "He’d talk about trying to see under her clothing, see her breasts. Even back then, he had this idea she was flirting with him."
Anderson says Powell continued to tell her about his attraction to Susan into 2009. After her disappearance in late 2009, he then told Anderson that he thought his daughter-in-law had run off with another man, she says.
Still, Anderson went to the police at the time. "I realized I at least owed a call to the police to say I was friends with this person who’d been obsessed all these years with Susan," she says.
Before his arrest, Steven Powell told Good Morning America
that he and Susan had a history of flirting.
"Susan was very sexual with me," he said. "We interacted in a lot of sexual ways because Susan enjoys doing that."
He was arrested last week in his Puyallup, Wash., home and booked on suspicion of 14 counts of voyeurism and one count of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
His son, Josh Powell, the last person known to have seen Susan, has been identified as a person of interest in her disappearance and has stopped cooperating with authorities.
Police have said Steven's arrest in the pornography case is unrelated to Susan's disappearance.