One evening in 1964, he left his homestead at Sebetet Village reportedly in search of a job, never to return again.
At the time, his wife Lydia Mitei had just given birth to their daughter Juliana Chepkirui. The wife recalled that fateful night â€œwe were living happily as a newly married couple. We ate supper as usual, he never looked troubled. He just left without telling me anything.â€
Family members revealed that over the years, they had mounted a search for him in all parts of the country, but their efforts proved futile.
They traced his whereabouts to the home of Erick Bett, a pastor located in Satiet Village which is 50 kilometres from Chumo’s home.
Chumo worked at the church as a casual labourer. The pastor revealed that when he heard of the missing person, the description struck him and that is when he contacted the family.
Mr. Langat, a representative of the family, went to the church and identified him as their long lost son.
In disbelief, he returned home and notified the villagers and family. They were filled with joy and began preparations for a feast.
A bull was slaughtered and they welcomed him home. His 78 year old wife could not hold her tears after seeing her husband.
When he left she was only 21 years old and their daughter barely one. Juliana Chepkirui, the daughter was meet her father for the first time.
When questioned, Chumo did not disclose his whereabouts. Nevertheless, the family was satisfied that he had returned home.
â€œCelebration and jubilation rent the air at Sebetet village,Chelanget Location in Bureti when Arap Mibei returned home after disappearing for 57 years,â€ exclaimed a villager.