TORONTO - A family that went to court to keep their daughter on life support after she was declared brain dead says the Toronto-area woman's heart stopped beating on Monday, rendering her dead in their view.

Taquisha McKitty was 27 when doctors declared her "dead by neurological criteria" in September 2017 following a drug overdose that left her unconscious on a Brampton, Ont., sidewalk.

McKitty's family turned to the courts to prevent doctors from taking her off life support, saying the fact that her heart was still beating meant she was still alive according to the terms of her religious faith.

An Ontario court ruled against her family over the summer, a decision her relatives were in the process of appealing.

A lawyer representing her family issued a statement on Monday afternoon saying McKitty's heart had stopped beating earlier in the day.

In the statement, McKitty's father thanked the public for their support of the family during their court battle.