A mysterious find at a Shell Cove vacant lot has sparked an investigation into a possible sexual assault.
Lake Illawarra detectives yesterday combed the Lakelands Close block, at the end of a cul-de-sac, after girl's clothing, tape and cable ties were found behind a large pile of dirt.
The items were first spotted on Saturday by a woman walking her dog in the area.
She called police after noticing the articles were still at the site on Monday.
Officers arrived at the location a short time after the report and set up a crime scene, removing the suspicious items for forensic testing.
Yesterday police returned to the block to conduct a thorough sweep in the hope of locating evidence that might shed some light on the items.
The officers formed a line and made a slow sweep along the length of the block, keeping their eyes trained on the ground.
Much of their efforts were focused around the large dirt pile where the clothing and other items were found.
Detectives will investigate whether some of the items may have been taken from building sites in the area.
The block is situated at the rear corner of a new estate overlooking The Links Shell Cove and metres from Killalea State Park.
Although a number of new homes are being constructed nearby, the vacant block is surrounded by open fields.
Crime manager Detective Inspector Glen Broadhead urged anyone who may have been assaulted in the area to contact police.
"If there's a victim, hopefully someone will come forward and we'll investigate the matter," he said.
"We can assist them on what's occurred."
He said anyone who has information should contact Lake Illawarra detectives or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.