In Italy, a man who spent 24 years searching for his long-lost brother, is now fighting for his life in hospital after the missing sibling broke into his home and stabbed him as he sleeps.
Martin Rabanser, 35, says he woke up to discover his brother Ivo swinging his knife at him repeatedly.
Nicola Nettis, Martin’s lawyer said: “After 24 years, Martin didn’t recognise his attacker and cried out: ‘Who are you? What do you want?’.
“Ivo replied: ‘I’m your brother – don’t you recognise me?'”
The confrontation took place in Selva di val Gardena in the Italian Alps and was the first time the brothers had met since Ivo, now 42, left home at 18 following the death of their father.
Nettis added: “One theory is that Ivo was angry about the terms of their inheritance from their father, which included the house Martin still lives in, and has been nurturing a grudge ever since.
When Ivo went missing in 1997, the family took to Italian TV and issued appeals for him to return, but there was no sign.
However, police have discovered the elder brother was sleeping rough in Verona and took on part time work, along with spending time in a local library where he built up an extensive knowledge of literature.
It is now believed that he arrived back to his home town area on a bike and decided to live in the local woods – where he was said to have been watching his brother, who is now a ski resort employee, living with wife and nine-year-old son.
He broke into the house through the garage wearing camouflage and carrying at least two knives, went to his brother’s bedroom and started stabbing him in the chest.
Martin’s wife tried to intervene, only to be met with pepper spray that Ivo squirted in her face. She left the scene and called the police.
Ivo told police: “I felt a huge rage inside towards my brother but I didn’t want to kill him.
“I stayed alone with him while he was in agony on the bed and I could’ve finished him but instead I went to the kitchen, where the police found me.”
Martin was stabbed in the lung and is now receiving treatment.