Shona Stevens was 31 years old when she was found on a footpath located just a few hundred yards from her home in Alder Green in the Bourtreehill Park area of Irvine on November 10, 1994.
The mum-of-one had sustained serious head injuries and died in hospital days later.
As part of a recent review into the case by Police Scotland, officers believe an item, pictured, may be of significance and are asking for the community’s help.
The toy depicts an overweight figurine wearing a red waistcoat and blue tie, with black shoes but no trousers.
Police said the item looks like it could have come off a novelty keyring and was found at the scene during the initial forensic examination.
Detective Inspector Fraser Normansell, of Police Scotland’s Major Investigation Team, said: “We know the item didn’t belong to Shona and, while we can’t be sure of its origins, we believe it may hold significance to this case.
“Although it was found almost 27 years ago, it’s very distinctive and could prove vital to our enquiries. I’m urging anyone with information to come forward and help us get justice for Shona.”
Shortly after 1pm on the day Shona was attacked she attended the Co-op store within Bourtreehill Shopping Centre before leaving on foot.
She was last seen alone around 1.10pm on Towerlands Road and was then found approximately 200 yards from her home, within a wooded area, around 1.20pm.
DI Normansell continued: “I’m asking anyone who believes they recognise this item or who has any information, no matter how small, to please get in touch.
“We are committed to getting Shona’s devastated family the answers they deserve.”
Detectives have set up an online portal to encourage members of the public to submit information. The Major Incident Public Portal (MIPP) is a website that gives the public access to a form so they can send information directly to the major incident teams based at the Scottish Crime Campus.
The website can be accessed here: https://mipp.police.uk/operation/SCOT18Z46-PO1
Anyone with information should contact the dedicated inquiry team on 01563 505172 or, alternatively, Police Scotland on 101. Crimestoppers can also be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.