Reward increased for Advance America homicide information

Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — More than $35,000 in reward money has been offered for information that leads to an arrest in the November murder of a 32-year-old cashier at Advance America, 8229 Telegraph.

Chelsea Small was found by police on Nov. 12 at the cash advance store after responding to a 911 call. She’d been shot several times, and an undisclosed amount of cash had been taken from the store.

On Dec. 20, the cash advance company increased its previous offering to $35,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of a suspect, seen in surveillance footage as a white man, 35 to 50 years old, medium to heavy build with dark bushy hair. He was wearing a blue waist-length jacket, white shirt, black pants and light-colored shoes. He wore a dark-colored baseball cap with an emblem on the front and left side.

The man entered the store at about noon. Police responded to the store’s alarm and on arrival found signs of forced entry, including a damaged front door.

Police Chief Mary Sclabassi said, the man seemed comfortable holding a weapon and is to be considered armed and dangerous.

An additional $2,500 reward has been posted by CrimeStoppers.

Sclabassi said during a recent press conference that police had obtained several leads but remain in pursuit of information as to the identity of the killer. Small lived in Gibralltar and leaves behind two small children.

Debi Kamin, Small’s mother, said she believes her daughter knew her killer, a belief formed by maternal instinct more than any evidence uncovered by police, who continued tracking down leads. Sclabassi said Small’s acquaintances would be considered, along with Advance America customers at that location or others where Small had worked.

Police believe that Small was alone in the store at the time. Customers must be admitted into the store by a buzzer-lock system activated by employees.

Anyone with information is asked to call Taylor police at 734-287-6611 or CrimeStoppers at 800-SPEAK-UP. Donations to the Chelsea Small Memorial Fund to help provide for her children, ages 8 and 5, may be made to 5/3 Bank.

(James Mitchell can be reached at