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29-year-old British woman lay dead in a Melbourne strip club for 12 hours before being found.

Police are investigating how a British woman could be left dead inside a Melbourne strip club for 12 hours before her body was discovered.

Stacey Tierney, 29, was found dead inside Dreams Gentlemen’s Club, where she is believed to have worked, on the morning of Monday, 19 December.

The fitness instructor, who had been living in Australia for three years, was understood to have been partying with several men inside the Elizabeth Street venue before her death, the Herald Sun reports.

The strip club where Ms Tierney was discovered. (Image via Google Maps)

The club was closed to the public on Sunday, but Ms Tierney had been in the company of unidentified men who had access to the venue, before they left her.

It is not yet known whether the 29-year-old was alive when the men left, but police have confirmed they are investigating the circumstances of her death.

The club's owners have made no comments so far.

A friend of Ms Tierney, Ashley, told the Herald Sun she thought someone was to blame for her death.

"I personally hope someone is charged for this. I’d like to see them punished," Ashley said.

"I told her not to work there. I thought it was a bit dodgy."

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Her family have reportedly not yet been told Ms Tierney's cause of death and have been fundraising to pay for her repatriation to the UK and funeral through the site GoFundMe.

The page has so far raised more than $19,000.

The 29-year-old had been living in Australia for three years. (Image via Facebook/Stacey Tierney)

"At the moment her family are still in shock and are trying to get there (sic) heads around what has happened," her cousin, Colleen, wrote on the site.

"The aim is to raise funds to bring her home to give her a send of (sic) fit for a princess.

"On behalf of her mum Michelle and her sisters Stephanie, Kristie, and Kelly-Anne and the rest of her family we would like to thank everyone for their kind messages of condolence."

Colleen told the Manchester Evening News her cousin was a "free spirit" who had been planning to study in Melbourne.

"We obviously knew how great she was. We were so proud of her and spoke to her all the time."

"She was so fit and loved dancing. She came back for Christmas last year."

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