Indianapolis police say a woman who was once the nation's youngest death row inmate left a suicide note that described her struggle to survive outside the prison walls that were her home for nearly 30 years.

Lt. Richard Riddle told The (Munster) Times newspaper (http://bit.ly/1AD0X6E ) on Friday that Paula Cooper left a note indicating her intentions before fatally shooting herself Tuesday.

Cooper's death came 30 years after she and three friends killed a 78-year-old Bible school teacher in her Gary home. Records show the then-15-year-old Cooper stabbed Ruth Pelke 33 times before stealing $10 and Pelke's car.

Cooper was sentenced to death, but her sentence was later commuted to 60 years in prison. She was released in 2013, after receiving credit for good behavior.